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Techniques & Tools Mass Spectrometry, Technology

Closing the Gap

The development of diode array spectrometers in the 1990s allowed spectroscopy to escape the lab by providing instant spectra in a compact, low-cost footprint. It meant that many questions requiring basic qualitative or quantitative answers could finally be measured at the point of sampling, using UV-VIS, fluorescence, Raman, or near-infrared spectroscopy. Since then, a proliferation of companies has grown up around this technology, each adding their own unique features, wavelengths, accessories, interfaces, and detectors.

As the market has matured, many spectroscopy-based applications have been commercialized in process monitoring, materials analysis, environmental monitoring, and particularly health and safety. Handheld Raman systems are now used routinely by first responders for explosives and narcotics detection, while advanced blood oxygenation systems provide precise results to guide clinical decisions in real time.

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About the Author

Cicely Rathmell and David Creasey

Cicely Rathmell and David Creasey are based at Wasatch Photonics, Logan, Utah, USA.

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