5 Challenges Resolved Using Microspectroscopy

Microspectroscopy, also known as microspectrophotometry, is a powerful imaging tool that combines the microscale imaging capabilities of a conventional microscope with the analytical capabilities of a spectrometer. Essentially, a microspectrophotometer is used to measure the molecular spectral emissions of samples on much smaller scales than a conventional spectrometer. This enables detailed materials characterization at the microscopic level. Naturally, microspectroscopy can help researchers resolve numerous challenges in research and production applications.

Aside from fixing the issues below, the additional benefits of using a microspectrophotometer include measuring sub-micron features, mapping spectral characteristics of samples with micron scale spatial resolution, and analyzing colors with much higher accuracy than the naked human eye. Refer to our previous article for foundational insights into spectroscopy of microscopic samples. Otherwise, read on to learn about five specific challenges that can be resolved by using microspectroscopy.

  1. Analyzing flat panel displays

Scientists can analyze each color pixel on a large screen by using microspectroscopy. Other possibilities include taking film thickness measurements, which will help the analyst identify potential issues with coating quality and cost control. Additionally, microspectroscopy can map variations in color and intensity and analyze flat panel displays for defects. Refer to our 2030XL PROTM page for more information about mapping color pixels on displays and measuring thin film thickness.

  1. Measuring the macerals of coal

One of the primary components of coal is vitrinite, which changes over time when heated geologically. These changes cause a change in the vitrinite reflectance levels, which can be used to determine a coal sample’s thermal maturity. The vitrinite reflectance levels can be measured in line with ISO 7404 and ASTM D2798 standard methods by a microscope that is calibrated with vitrinite reflectance standards and a photometer. Our GeoImageTM tool is ideal for rapid and accurate vitrinite reflectance measurements and point counting of coal and coke.

  1. Trace evidence in forensic analysis

Scientists working within a forensic science laboratory will analyze various physical evidence, but the most common trace evidence materials include fibers, hair, glass and paint. Soil and fire debris are also routinely tested. Microspectroscopy benefits include a spectral range from the deep ultraviolet to the near-infrared, combining UV-vis-NIR, fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy in a single instrument as well as ease of use.

  1. Characterization of carbon nanotubes

In materials science, being able to characterize carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is critical to research and development. Low-cost growth methods that produce high-quality CNTs are vital in their use in industrial applications. To produce the desired outcome, parameters can be altered when growing CNTs, such as temperature, growing time, and carbon sources. The final product can then be analyzed via microspectroscopy.

  1. Determining protein-crystal purity

Protein crystals are utilized in a wide range of applications, including structural biology, bio-separation of drugs and drug design research. The purity of protein crystals is important in allowing crystals to form and for other crystallization experiments. UV-Vis microspectrophotometers like the FLEX PROTM can be used to identify and analyze protein-crystal purity while still in solution.

Looking for Microspectroscopy Solutions?

At CRAIC Technologies, we provide a range of finely tuned solutions for critical imaging challenges across a wide spectrum of industry and research applications. If you are interested in any of the challenges and solutions discussed in this article, or are interested in exploring microspectroscopy as a solution to proprietary issues, simply contact us today.

How Does a Microspectrophotometer Work?

Spectrophotometry is a powerful analytical tool used to measure the luminous intensity of various samples across a measurement area of around 1 x 1 centimetres (cm). But what if you want to observe the spectra of microscopic samples? Standard microscopes image samples using visible light with a maximum optical resolving power of two micrometres (μm). However, it is possible to add spectroscopy to UV-visible-NIR optical microscopy to observe spectra and images at high resolutions (1 x 1 μm).