Presented by: Richard Crocombe, Crocombe Spectroscopic Consulting
Portable spectroscopic instruments have dramatically increased their capabilities over the past 20 years, while becoming smaller and lighter. For example, portable laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instruments now enable the critical measurement of carbon in steel, with a detection limit of 100 ppm; cubic-inch-size devices are available for near-infrared and Raman spectroscopy; a portable instrument capable of implementing more than one technique is now a reality (at least two visible-NIR instruments spanning ~400 to ~1700 nm are available); smartphone-based spectrometers for clinical applications in the field are being deployed; spectrometers are now being embedded in some consumer goods; and hand-portable hyperspectral imaging instruments are now possible.
In the visible and shortwave near-infrared region, the miniature and low-cost technology base now enables devices to be marketed directly to consumers. But what applications are actually possible for a stand-alone spectrometer marketed directly to consumers? Possible application areas include food, personal fitness, personal care, and identification and verification of household items, but each of these would need its own validated calibration or database. Is there a mismatch between these aspirations and the reality of analytical spectroscopy, especially for low-cost instruments marketed to and operated by nonscientists? Do manufacturers really understand the basic analytical spectroscopy concepts of sampling, heterogeneity, detection limits, signal to noise, and so on, especially as they apply to instruments sold to the general public?
About the presenter
Richard Crocombe, Ph.D., is the principal at Crocombe Spectroscopic Consulting, and was previously at several major analytical instrument companies. He has been working with miniature and portable spectrometers for the past 15 years and has written extensively on miniature instruments, spectroscopy and imaging in refereed journals, including being Guest Editor for special issue of 'Applied Spectroscopy' on portable and handheld spectroscopy (May 2016). For SPIE he has been the co-chair of the 'Next-Generation Spectroscopic Technologies' conference (2009-present. He received the Williams-Wright Award for Industrial Spectroscopy in 2012. He is a Fellow of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, and its 2020 President. He is co-editor of Portable Spectroscopy
, a two-volume book published by John Wiley, available in print in early 2021.