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Fields & Applications Spectroscopy, Technology, Data Analysis, Food, Beverage & Agriculture, Chemical, Forensics

Spectroscopy brought down to size

Since the early 1970s, I have been active in vibrational spectroscopy. And, for the last decade, I have made a point of following the continual development of miniaturized spectrometers for Raman, mid-infrared (mid-IR) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR). Forty years ago, Raman and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometers were huge, room-filling machines, and NIR spectrometers were just about to evolve from add-ons to ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) or IR spectrometers and appear as standalone instruments. Things began to change over the next four decades, with many exciting hardware and software developments for vibrational spectroscopy appearing. Nevertheless, apart from the introduction of light-fiber optics, special probes and chemometric evaluation routines enabling the technology to move out of the lab to the process, the techniques were still strictly for scientists. In contrast, the development of miniaturized, handheld instruments would not only lead to a further extension of the range of applications but also suggested that these instruments would eventually appear in non-traditional user environments.

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About the Author

Heinz Siesler

Heinz Siesler is an Emeritus Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, with main research interests in the application of vibrational spectroscopy (Raman, mid-IR and NIR) to chemical and polymer research, analysis and quality/process control. He has extensive industrial experience in molecular spectroscopy and thermal analysis gained while working in R&D for Bayer AG, Germany. He also lectured at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and worked as a post-doc at the University of Cologne, Germany, after receiving his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Vienna, Austria, in 1970. Heinz continues to supervise PhD students, host guest professors and work as a consultant and a short-course teacher in instrumentation for vibrational spectroscopy, materials science and process control.

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