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48 SPECTROSCOPY


NEW benchtop NMR system launched O


ne of the leading providers of compact NMR and MRI instruments, Magritek, has


launched the Spinsolve Ultra Benchtop NMR system. Using the company’s high homogeneity Halbach magnets, the system delivers ultra-high field homogeneity (50% 0.2Hz, 0.55% 6Hz, 0.11% 12Hz) which, when combined with solvent suppression, permits users to resolve compounds dissolved at sub-millimolar concentrations in mixtures such as beverages, fermentations, wastewater and biological fluids in just eight minutes. No sample preparation is required for the measurement. Spinsolve Ultra is available with multiple


different nuclei to give users the possibilities to have a system configured specifically to their requirements. All models measure 1H and 19F nuclei but the multinuclear versions offer a third, optional nuclei that can be 7Li, 11B, 13C, 15N, 29Si or 31P. Users may also ask for the availability of


other nuclei. The unit also includes solvent suppression pulse sequences to strongly reduce the signal of protonated solvents that can be more than three orders of magnitude larger than the signals of interest being measured. Spinsolve Ultra models are available at a choice of operating frequency: 43MHz or 60MHz (for 1H). Furthermore, top class results are produced with no sample spinning, no requirement for compressed air and no need for reference deconvolution data processing. The high homogeneity of the


Spinsolve Ultra is particularly useful for samples where the compounds to be identified and quantified are dissolved in protonated solvents such as water. Among important applications are the


following: the quantification of sugars and alcohol in beverages; the identification and quantification of metabolites in urine; the analysis of contaminants in wastewater; fermentation processes in bioreactors. In general, the high resolution offered by the Spinsolve Ultra is of great advantage for monitoring chemical reactions performed in the presence of protonated solvents and for qNMR of samples where important signals overlap.


For more information visit www.magritek.com


The BUZZ around TRACE-LEVEL DETECTION O


cean Optics has shown how highly sensitive, trace-level Raman spectroscopy measurements can detect concentrations of insecticide that are less than a 50th of the level judged harmful to honeybees. Using a real-world example related


to the problem of honeybee population decline, the company demonstrated the power of Ram-SERS-SP Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy substrates’ gold-silver nanosponge alloy. By comparing the ability of new gold-silver substrates with that of traditional substrates to detect imidacloprid, an insecticide suspected to be dangerous to bee colonies, Ocean Optics scientists were able to demonstrate the enhanced sensitivity that Ram-SERS-SP substrates bring to Raman measurements. SERS substrates amplify very weak


Raman signals by many orders of magnitude, with measurements of SERS- active analytes possible at even parts-per- trillion levels. Silver-only SERS substrates work best with 532nm Raman excitation, while gold substrates are better suited to


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785nm Raman systems. By combining the silver and gold on one substrate the new SERS nanosponge substrates perform well with either wavelength. When used with 638nm Raman excitation, the nanosponge substrates are enhanced to an even higher level of sensitivity. In the USA, recent increasing rates of


honeybee loss have been investigated by government regulators and other researchers. According to ongoing US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies, the insecticide imidacloprid has been identified as a threat to commercial honeybee colonies, with the agency citing


traces at concentration levels greater than 25 ppb as likely harmful to honeybees. To test the effectiveness of Ocean Optics


substrates in detecting imidacloprid at these harmful trace levels, the company’s scientists set up a lab experiment using its gold nanoparticle and gold-silver nanosponge SERS substrates. They made a series of measurements using the gold nanoparticle substrates, in a setup with 785nm Raman laser excitation, and a series of measurements using the gold-silver nanosponge substrates, in a setup with 638nm Raman excitation. In the test, the gold-silver nanosponge SERS substrates delivered the best results, detecting imidacloprid concentrations as low as 0.4 ppb (well within the 25 ppb concentration rate cited by the EPA as harmful to bees). The substrates’ high sensitivity and low background noise made it easier to discern Raman peaks at these very low-concentration levels.


For more information visit www.oceanoptics.com


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