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Spectroscopy Takes Center Stage at Pittcon

Wed, 04/07/2010 - 10:41am
Tim Studt

by Tim Studt

Bruker BioSpin's Fourier 300 high-resolution spectrometer is a complete proton and carbon 1-D and 2-D FT-NMR system that delivers a powerful performance.
Bruker BioSpin's Fourier 300 high-resolution spectrometer is a complete proton and carbon 1-D and 2-D system that delivers powerful performance.

Bruker BioSpin announced at Pittcon 2010 in Orlando, Fla., the Fourier 300, an innovative, easy-to-use 300-MHz high-resolution  spectrometer that brings Fourier transform (FT) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy within every chemist's reach. With its robust Fourier Probe technology, easy software, miniaturized electronics, and proven magnets, the Fourier 300 is a complete proton and carbon 1-D and 2-D FT-NMR system that delivers powerful performance at an attractive price.

Bruker's NMR software, TopSpin, combines various new features to explore the world of NMR at ease, making the Fourier 300 an ideal system for chemical education and industrial routine analysis. It enables undergraduate NMR laboratories to incorporate many new experiments, from a broad range of pre-installed 1-D FT-NMR spectra and various relaxation experiments to numerous, information-rich 2-D homonuclear or heteronuclear correlations. Students will find the TopSpin software intuitive, whether it is used to analyze the structure of an organic molecule or to learn NMR as a method.

The Fourier 300 is also a compact, cost-effective FT-NMR instrument for routine, walk-up, small-molecule analysis in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, whether to qualify materials, verify reactions, or verify organic molecule structures without being dependent on larger, centralized NMR laboratories. Companies with limited budgets will be able to add powerful FT-NMR capabilities. Optional software packages can expand the use of the Fourier 300 to include structure elucidation, structure consistency checks, analysis of mixtures and absolute quantification experiments.

Bruker Daltonics announced the newest model in its successful amaZon ion trap mass spectrometry product line, the entry-level amaZon SL. It builds upon Bruker's long-standing expertise in high-performance ion trap technologies, and is designed to enhance efficiency for laboratories involved with applications including structural confirmation, compound screening and identification, process and general synthesis control, as well as metabolite identification.

Delivering superior sensitivity due to its proprietary dual ion funnel technology, fast acquisitions with class leading combinations of scan speed and mass resolution, and tested, robust performance, the unique amaZon SL offers highest data quality and flexibility at an affordable price point.

The new amaZon SL incorporates key features for best-in-class analytical capabilities:

  • Smart and intuitive software provides quick answers to analytical questions with automation tools for calibration, tuning and data post-processing,
  • Fast data acquisition with a scan speed up to 32,000 u/s at full isotopic resolution leads to highest duty cycles in both MS and MS-MS experiments, ideal for coupling with UHPLC,
  • For screening applications, on-the-fly polarity switching speeds up analysis and increases the reliability of the results,
  • The SmartFrag algorithm ensures optimum fragmentation efficiency for all compounds and reproducible MS-MS, ideal for spectral library searching,
  • Open Access Environment: low maintenance requirements make the amaZon SL perfectly suited for open access environments including synthesis control, general QC or busy multi-user academic core labs
  • Highest reliability and robustness by proven ion trap technology.

Bruker Elemental announced the launch of the Q2 ION, an ultra-compact spark optical emission spectrometer (OES) for metals analysis. The Q2 ION is a true multi-matrix system for comprehensive incoming material inspection and quality assurance of metal alloys. Its primary applications and metal matrices include copper, aluminum and iron analysis at smaller foundries, inspection companies, metal recycling and metal fabricators.

The Q2 ION also offers RoHS compliance screening for solder producers and PCB manufacturers (solder checker). Moreover, the Q2 ION is a powerful instrument for advanced PMI applications with its best-in-class UV-element performance, including Nitrogen for duplex steels.

The small benchtop Q2 ION system incorporates numerous proprietary innovations. It was designed for simplified operation, minimized maintenance and short analysis times while achieving best-in-class analytical performance. The Q2 ION's compact size and rapid start-up routine even allows the unit to be portable, making it complementary to Bruker Elemental handheld XRF systems.

High quality ultraviolet (UV) OES analysis in a compact system is an innovative feature that represents important progress for ultra-compact spark-OES systems.

UV-OES enables Q2 ION customers to analyze metals for important additional elements, such as carbon, phosphorus, sulfur and even nitrogen for duplex steels. Other key features like high analytical stability through patented active ambient compensation, standard-less calibration, proprietary ClearSpectrum algorithms, low argon consumption and minimal maintenance give Q2 ION users additional confidence in its reliable analytical results at very low operating costs.

Agilent Technologies introduced its 6150B Series single-quadrupole liquid chromatograph/mass spectrometer (LC-MS), a new generation of this workhorse instrument. The 6150B Series has substantially higher sample throughput and delivers unmatched performance in the single-quad LC-MS category.

"Many users, such as drug discovery labs, are moving to faster chromatography," says Wayne Duncan, Agilent's single-quadrupole LC-MS marketing manager. "This means that their mass specs must keep pace with very sharp, narrow chromatographic peaks lasting less than one second. The Agilent 6150B Series LC-MS is well-matched to the latest fast chromatography systems, enabling labs to run many more samples per day in a robust way, without any loss of data quality."

To match the speed of fast chromatography, including ultra high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) such as the Agilent 1290 Infinity platform, the Agilent 6150B Series can scan at 10,000 amu/sec while maintaining exceptional data quality. This is important to confirm identification of the correct compound in the complex reaction mixtures such as those found in drug discovery synthesis.

PerkinElmer's NexION 300 ICP platform advances trace element analysis and is suited for testing air, water, and food contamination.
PerkinElmer's NexION 300 ICP platform advances trace element analysis and is suited for testing air, water, and food contamination.
The Agilent 6150B Series is the first single-quadrupole LC-MS equipped with Agilent Jet Stream Technology, a unique sample inlet design that uses super-heated sheath gas to focus the ion stream entering the mass spec. The benefit is enhanced sensitivity from a stronger signal with lower relative standard deviation at the limit of detection.

Agilent Jet Stream Technology has demonstrated the ability to provide efficient ionization for a broader range of compounds than electrospray ionization or atmospheric pressure chemical ionization alone. This can also increase sample throughput by minimizing the need to rerun samples in multiple ionization modes to look for differences.

Thermo Scientific introduced its Multiskan GO UV-Vis spectrophotometer offering free wavelength selection for both 96- and 384-well plates and various types of cuvettes.

The Multiskan GO instrument features a broad wavelength range including UV area and pathlength correction, as well as fast spectral scanning, making it an ideal tool for virtually any photometric research application, including DNA, RNA and protein analysis.

The device can support endpoint, kinetic and spectral scanning assays at very fast speeds. Any measurement wavelength between 200 and 1,000 nm can be selected at any time with the advanced monochromator-based optical system, which also allows the complete spectrum of a sample to be scanned in less than 10 sec. Temperature-critical assays benefit from the precise temperature control feature.

Designed to ensure first-rate performance and high-quality results with minimal user effort, the Multiskan GO spectrophotometer also features increased energy efficiency. Extensive automatic self-diagnostics at instrument start-up verifies all major instrument functionalities and continuous runtime control of optical and mechanical functions, ensuring stable day-to-day and year-on-year performance and reliability. Energy use by the unit is minimized by an automatic power save function, reducing energy consumption by up to 70%.

Thermo also launched its Lumina research-grade dual-monochromator scanning fluorescence spectrometer which offers a new level of clarity in fluorescence measurement. Designed for both demanding research applications and routine laboratory analysis, Lumina delivers 0.5-nm spectral bandwidth, high sensitivity, and fast scanning speed, providing industry-leading performance for rapid and accurate assay development, quantification, and sample analysis applications in life science, QA/QC, materials science, pharmaceutical, environmental, photochemistry, and luminescence laboratories.

With its ability to provide 0.5-nm spectral bandwidth, Lumina offers superior resolving power when compared with competitive systems in the same price range, enabling analysts to uncover the most detailed information about their samples, including sample features that are closely positioned, and better discriminate between peaks in spectra. Additionally, Lumina's increased sensitivity offers the advantages of lower limits of detection, less noise and more consistent baseline measurements.

"With the launch of Lumina, our customers can now achieve advanced spectral resolution for both excitation and emission spectra," says Michael Allen, Thermo's product manager for UV-visible and fluorescence products. "The combination of the instrument's high resolution and increased sensitivity offers a new level of clarity to fluorescence spectroscopy, helping researchers dig deeper into their samples and unlock new information."

Thermo also launched the Evolution Array, a new UV-Visible spectrophotometer driven by photodiode array (PDA) technology that offers dramatic improvements in laboratory throughput. Designed for fast acquisition of full-spectrum UV-Vis data, the Evolution Array delivers industry-leading performance for rapid and accurate method development and sample analysis in QA/QC, pharmaceutical, life science, materials science and educational laboratories.

The device provides significant time advantages. By utilizing advanced photodiode array technology, the new instrument offers significant advantages with regards to full-spectrum data acquisition and sample throughput compared to traditional dispersive, monochromator-based spectrophotometers. Full spectrum data is acquired at less than one second for routine data applications and can be acquired at nearly 50 points/sec for advanced kinetics applications.

The system provides simultaneous detection of all wavelengths throughout the UV and visible regions of the spectrum, allowing a nearly instantaneous display of a full absorbance spectrum from 190 to 1,100 nm. Full-spectrum analysis of every standard and sample allows users to create standard curves, plot 3-D graphical displays and examine samples at any wavelength at any time—greatly enabling analytical method development.

Thermo's Ahura Scientific announced the release of its next generation Raman platform for safety and security applications. Designed for the rapid identification of unknown solids and liquids, FirstDefender RM and FirstDefender RMX build on the success of the flagship FirstDefender to deliver advanced new features and capabilities. Ahura Scientific revolutionized the chemical identification market with the launch of FirstDefender in 2005 and now reinforces that leadership with instruments that are up to five times faster and significantly smaller and lighter than their market-leading predecessor.

FirstDefender RM and FirstDefender RMX are rugged handheld Raman spectrometers for use by first responders, homeland security, military, law enforcement and forensic chemistry personnel. The instruments allow users to quickly identify unknown chemicals from a vast sample library of more than 10,000 pure substances including: explosives, toxic industrial chemicals (TICs), toxic industrial materials (TIMs), chemical warfare agents (CWAs), white powders, narcotics, precursors and more. Ahura Scientific's advanced chemometric algorithms enable automatic mixture analysis with every scan, and ensure responders can be confident in the accuracy and reliability of results. Both instruments are certified to U.S. military's MIL-STD 810F specifications for ruggedness including drop, shock, vibration and operation in extreme temperatures.

Details on the two new instruments include:

FirstDefender RM is the next generation Raman device for military and civilian first responders. Weighing 1.8 pounds (800 g), the instrument is five times faster, 50 percent lighter and 40 percent smaller than the original FirstDefender, yet houses an extensive library of more than 10,000 chemicals.

FirstDefender RM can be used in point-and-shoot mode or via the integrated vial holder. Specific new features in FirstDefender RM include improved detectors and electronics, advanced power options as well as new additions to the enhanced user interface, including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) hazard diamond, spectrum overlay for comparing scanned materials to library items of interest and tabbed library for easier navigation.

Using the same platform as FirstDefender RM, FirstDefender RMX extends the point-and-shoot capability with a permanent fixed probe. Weighing 2 pounds (919 grams), the instrument can be operated in handheld mode or can be attached to the gripper arm of a tactical robot and connected via an RS232 port.

Additionally, Thermo unveiled its TSQ Quantum XLS. This triple quadrupole gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) system is designed to offer maximum precision, sensitivity and laboratory productivity for quantitative GC-MS analysis. It features the innovative DuraBrite IRIS high sensitivity ion source, which ensures high sensitivity in the low femtogram range, higher quantitative precision at trace levels and uninterrupted operation for increased productivity. Equipped with optional column backflush solutions, the new TSQ Quantum XLS enables high-throughput laboratories to run increased QuEChERS extract samples for 24/7 routine operation.

Highly inert and exchangeable ion volumes allow for quick preventive maintenance within minutes without venting the vacuum system. The system is the ideal instrument for trace residue laboratories in food safety and environmental, forensics, toxicology and petrochemical laboratories. The TSQ Quantum XLS provides low femtogram sensitivity for the most challenging trace analyses such as pesticides, PCBs, dioxins, PAHs, drugs and steroids in complex matrices, bolstering its leading position in performance and stability. "The new TSQ Quantum XLS delivers robust matrix selectivity, high sensitivity and precision for large samples series in response to increased customer demands." commented Hans-Joachim Huebschmann, GC-MS technology manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Thermo Scientific's Lumina, a new research-grade dual-monochromator scanning fluorescence spectrometer, offers a new level of clarity in fluorescence measurement.
Thermo Scientific's Lumina, a new research-grade dual-monochromator scanning fluorescence spectrometer, offers a new level of clarity in fluorescence measurement.
Finally, Thermo announced the availability of an easy-to-use isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) solution for the authentication of food and beverages.

The solution is designed to enhance laboratory productivity, reliably confirm the authenticity of food and beverage samples, and detect counterfeit products.

The new configuration is said to allow fast and fully automated switching between multi-compound and multi-element analysis.

It includes the Delta V series IRMS and the Conflo IV universal interface, combined with the Trace GC Ultra and the Flash HT Plus elemental analyser, all in a single setup for maximum cost-efficiency.

The combination delivers a simplified workflow requiring minimal sample preparation and handling and offers a higher level of laboratory automation.

The IRMS solution was showcased at Analytica 2010 in Munich.

The Delta V mass spectrometer can be connected to either the Trace GC Ultra or the Flash HT Plus using the Thermo Fisher Scientific Conflo IV enabling time saving switching between the two instruments for multi-compound isotope analysis or multi-element isotope analysis.

"PerkinElmer's NexION 300 ICP platform advances trace element analysis, and its introduction is perfectly timed to help address global problems ranging from contamination of our air, water and food, to the integrity of pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements, as well as the safety of emerging nanomaterials," explains Martin Long, VP, spectroscopy, Analytical Sciences and Laboratory Services.

He adds, "Researchers can now benefit from a simplified system for analysis of trace elements in the parts-per-trillion range, allowing even non-expert users to perform complex analyses. The NexION 300 system also greatly reduces the need for daily user maintenance and cleaning, translating into minimal downtime and less need for highly-skilled operators."

The NexION 300 instrument features the patented Universal Cell Technology (UCT) and is the only instrument of its kind with three modes of interference removal—Standard, Collision and Reaction. These three modes allow scientists to choose the appropriate technique for their particular application, based on the complexity of the problem to be solved.

The Standard mode can be used for simple and routine analyses. The Collision mode is effective for semi-quantitative analyses, environmental sample monitoring and testing unknown samples, and the Reaction mode, using patented DRC technology, provides the best detection limits available, for even the most difficult elements and matrices such as semiconductor testing.

The NexION 300 system can be integrated with chromatography systems for effective speciation analysis to enable users to accurately separate and measure accurately the toxicity, bioavailability, metabolism and environmental mobility of elements.

The SPECTRO MS won the Silver Pittcon 2010 Editors' Choice Award for being the world's first fully simultaneous measuring mass spectrometer with inductively coupled plasma. The SPECTRO MS records the entire elemental spectrum between lithium and uranium for every analysis. Users achieve a greatly increased sample throughput rate and much better precision and accuracy compared to using a sequential mass spectrometer.

"The SPECTRO MS will change mass spectrometry forever. The option of being able to measure simultaneously will create a revolution on the market similar to the one created by optical emission spectrometers several years ago," reports Manfred Bergsch, SPECTRO's managing director. "The SPECTRO MS delivers not only much more precise and reproducible results than a conventional mass spectrometer, but also measures a great deal faster; opening new perspectives and applications for laboratories."

Simultaneous recording of the entire spectrum is enabled by a series of recently designed high-end components:

  • A novel ion optic that is extremely efficient in transporting ions from the plasma into the mass spectrometer itself—while reliably removing neutral particles and photons from the beam.
  • A double focusing sector field mass spectrometer with a Mattauch-Herzog design. An electrostatic analyzer and a permanent magnet are utilized to direct the ions onto a focal plane - without additional scanning of the ion beam.
  • An extremely powerful direct charge detector with 4,800 channels is placed in the focal plane of the mass spectrometer, recording simultaneously the entire mass spectrum from lithium to uranium with an average of 20 channels per isotope. Each of these channels is additionally divided into two separate detectors with different signal amplification. This enables the SPECTRO MS to achieve a dynamic working range that allows even extreme isotope ratios to be determined precisely.
  • With the innovative sleep-mode, the robust and user-friendly vacuum system features very low energy consumption.

JEOL's award-winning AccuTOF-DART mass spectrometer, features the new iPod touch-enabled DART SVP ion source, offering a new set of performance features for accurate mass measurements in real time using advanced time-of-flight technology.

The DART SVP (simplified voltage and pressure), integrates sample automation with flexibility in set up and positioning of the sample for rapid, repeatable performance. A computer-controlled linear rail can be combined with a variety of sample holders—tweezers, a tablet holder, a plate holder, a tube holder, custom holders of all sorts—for precise and automated analysis of samples, TLC plates, and sample tips. Now featuring a wide selectable range of distances between the source and the atmospheric pressure interface (API), the AccuTOF-DART SVP allows for off-axis analyses of surfaces. Direct interfacing between the DART SVP source to the AccuTOF API prevents chemical interferences from altering the analytes prior to analysis. The DART SVP is a more rugged design than the first production series, is easier to operate, conserves gas and uses less energy, and enables the use of low cost nitrogen gas.

The JEOL AccuTOF-DART SVP provides accurate mass measurements that can be used along with the isotopic information generated in the data to readily determine the elemental composition of unknown analytes. The system also features an Electrospray Ion Source (ESI) for LC-MS, and optional Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization (APCI), nano-ESI, and micro-ESI sources.

AB SCIEX announced the launch of the first mass-spectrometry-based software application specifically designed to advance the study of lipidomics. LipidView Software is the first commercially available software using the analytical accuracy and speed of mass spectrometry to characterize molecules in studies of lipidomics, which is an emerging field of systems biology that's being applied for disease research, drug discovery and biomarker research for potential use in clinical settings.

Researchers are increasingly exploring the range of functions that lipids have within the human body, including energy storage, cell membrane structure and hormone signaling.

LipidView Software responds to the need of lipidomics researchers who have been seeking tools focused specifically on this new discipline to provide more accurate and faster results. This automated data processing tool enables researchers to identify and quantify lipids from complex samples more effectively, providing standardized information from a catalog of more than 40 lipid classes and 23,000 possible lipid species.

Oxford Instruments announced the release of a second generation of its popular MQC analyzers. A compact size minimizes the footprint on critical laboratory benchtop workspace. It also includes a space-saving internal computer with operator interface, so no external PC is required. With the recent change to a 17-inch LCD flat screen monitor mounted on the magnet, the user is provided with a clear view of data and operational instructions. New test and diagnostic software makes remote servicing of the instrument a cost-saving convenience.

The MQC incorporates a permanent magnet that is smaller than those in any comparable instrument and has a very high homogeneity. Despite its small size, the magnet has the largest sample space in its class. It also has the highest field strength for maximum sensitivity and is available in several operating frequencies from 2 to 23 MHz.

Interchangeable probes permit different sample sizes to be used for different materials, optimizing the instrument for each application. A liquid variable temperature probe is now available for the MQC, which allows operators to run experiments at higher or lower temperatures. The bottom of the probe is now equipped with a plug that keeps the magnet clean in the event of spills or broken sample tubes.

Oxford Instruments' MQC has proven to be ideal for determining the oil content of seeds, food, wax, and rubber. Widely used in energy production and for the manufacturing of textiles, the MQC is also used to check the quality of construction materials and personal care products.

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