Agilent Reinvents Optical Spectroscopy

Agilent’s new 5100 ICP-OES runs 55% faster using 50% less gas

Agilent’s new 5100 ICP-OES runs 55% faster using 50% less gas

There are several ways to analyze the structure of a substance.  Optical spectroscopy measures the interaction of light with various materials.  By analyzing the amount of light absorbed or emitted by a sample, we can determine what it’s made of and how much there is.

(Spectroscopy comes from the Latin for “ghost watcher.”  In the 1600s, researchers who first observed light dispersing through a prism thought they were looking at ghosts.)

With inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), a sample is vaporized and sprayed into a very hot plasma.  The sample absorbs energy from the plasma and emits light.  Different kinds of vaporized atoms will emit different patterns of light, which are then measured with a polychromator.  The sample itself is destroyed when it is vaporized, so the more we can learn from a single analysis, the better.

The sample can be analyzed using a radial or an axial view.  A radial view looks at the elongated plasma from the side (along its radius).  An axial view looks at the plasma from the end (along its axis).  Radial is considered more robust, while axial is considered more sensitive.

Agilent has just introduced a breakthrough new product, the Agilent 5100 ICP-OES.  Among its many innovations, this ingenious instrument can run both axial and radial view analysis at the same time.  As a result, analyses can be run 55 percent faster using 50 percent less gas per sample than competitive systems.  “No other system on the market can match the performance – or the low cost of ownership – of the new 5100,” says Agilent’s Phil Binns.  “Agilent has raised the bar with a system that sidesteps the usual compromises in speed and robustness associated with dual-view analysis.”

The Agilent 5100 ICP-OES can run both axial  (blue) and radial (red) view analysis at the same time

The Agilent 5100 ICP-OES can run both axial (blue) and radial (red) view analysis at the same time

The 5100 ICP-OES is ideal for labs doing food, environmental and pharmaceuticals testing, as well as for mining and industrial applications.  On July 29, Agilent will host a series of worldwide Webinars to demonstrate the new technology and its performance on environmental and food sample types.


For more information go to:

Filed Under: All, Chemical Analysis
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Measurement at the Atomic Level

Agilent atomic force microscopes can operate at fractions of a nanometer

Agilent atomic force microscopes can operate at fractions of a nanometer

July 20 celebrates the birthday of German physicist Gerd Binnig, who was born in 1947.  In 1981, Binnig helped develop the first scanning tunneling microscope.  In 1986, he developed the first atomic force microscope.  That same year, Binnig was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.

A scanning tunneling microscope operates by measuring electron-level electrical currents between a conducting tip and the surface being examined.  With resolution of 0.1 nanometers by 0.01 nanometers, an STM can view individual atoms.

(A human hair is about 100,000 nanometers in diameter.  A strand of human DNA is about 2.5 nanometers in diameter.  Your fingernails grow about one nanometer every second.)

An atomic force microscope operates by “feeling” the surface being examined with a mechanical probe, using very precise scanning.  An AFM also operates at fractions of a nanometer, with resolution 1,000 times better than the physical limits of optical imaging.

Today, Agilent is one of the world’s leading providers of atomic force microscopes, considered the foremost tool for examining and measuring matter at the nanoscale.  Agilent recently introduced STM and inverted light microscope (ILM) capabilities to its state-of-the art 7500 AFM platform.  Agilent’s AFMs can perform a broad range of studies pertaining to single molecules, cell membranes, DNA, proteins and other life science applications.  In materials science, applications include electrical characterization, graphene studies and polymer studies.

For more information go to:


Filed Under: All, Chemical Analysis, Electronic Measurement
Tags: , , , ,

Agilent is off on a Comet!

A spacecraft is scheduled to land on a comet for the first time

A spacecraft is scheduled to land on a comet for the first time

In 1877, French author Jules Verne published “Hector Servadac,” translated into English as “Off on a Comet.”  In this science-fiction novel, several dozen people find themselves aboard a comet after it brushes against the Earth.  Many of Verne’s other fantasies, including submarines and manned spacecraft, have now become reality.  The concept of boarding a comet may soon join that list.

In August 2014, the robotic spacecraft Rosetta is scheduled to become the first mission to orbit a comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  In November 2014, Rosetta hopes to celebrate another milestone by deploying Philae to 67P/CG, the first probe to land on the surface of a comet.

Rosetta was first launched more than 10 years ago in March 2004 by the European Space Agency.  It awoke successfully from hibernation in January 2014 to begin scanning 67P/CG for a suitable landing site.  Ultimately, the spacecraft will come within one kilometer of the comet’s surface to deploy its lander.

While Verne foresaw an unfortunate end to his fictional travelers (note “Servadac” spelled backwards), Rosetta and Philae are unmanned.  Instead, both vehicles carry a number of sophisticated scientific instruments.  Agilent is well represented.

COSAC (Cometary Sampling and Composition experiment) is a gas analyzer that will detect and identify complex organic molecules.  It has eight capillary GC columns, including two Agilent columns: an UltiMetal Carbobond (very unique and complicated to make) and CP-Chirasil-DEX CB.  COSAC also uses Agilent Micro GC Thermal Conductivity Detectors.

PTOLEMY is an evolved gas analyzer that will measure isotopic ratios of light elements.  This GC/MS system has three Agilent columns: a CP-PoraPLOT Q, a CP-Molsieve 5A and a CP-Sil 8 CB, all in UltiMetal.

Just as the original Rosetta Stone helped historians unlock the mysteries of ancient cultures, the new Rosetta may help scientists learn more about comets and the origins of our solar system.


For more information go to:

 

Filed Under: All, Chemical Analysis
Tags: , ,

Please visit the Archive for more news items.

Agilent Request Form

For product or company information, please fill in all required fields.

   


Name:
Email:
Phone:
Message:

Please leave this field empty.