Analytical chemistry uses optical spectroscopy to study interactions of materials with light. Atoms and molecules of an unknown sample can be identified through their typical light absorptions or emissions, and scattering properties can be used to analyse materials. The wavelength range of the electromagnetic spectrum detected by the human eye extends from blue (short-wave) to red (long-wave) light and is also called the "Vis" (for "visible") spectral range. Shorter wavelengths are known as ultraviolet (UV) light and greater wavelengths create near-infrared (NIR) light as part of long-wave infrared (IR) light.
Spectroscopy experts from industry and research have been attending the Colloquium Optical Spectrometry (COSP) for several years, which is organised in cooperation with PerkinElmer to enable information exchange on current measurement techniques and applications. Transmission and reflection measurements in the UV/Vis/NIR spectral range on industrially relevant materials were the main topics of this year's meeting at BAM from 27 to 29 November 2017. This is a broad field and the presentations included reports on the latest research results on the application of spectroscopic in-situ measurement techniques in thin-film technology and micro process engineering. Options of mixture analysis and spectroscopic detection of ageing processes in plastics were also discussed.
Other key topics included fluorescence-based research on new trends in fluorometry, spectroscopic surface characterisation of 2D and 3D carrier materials and sensitive high-throughput fluorescence applications.
Eyes-on poster and hands-on drone
In addition to the presentations, posters about the latest developments in UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy initiated an intensive exchange of information. BAM experts presented results of innovative sensor developments for emission and environmental monitoring, which are being researched within the focus area project KonSens. The posters were complemented by an exhibition of equipment and a selection of commercially available BAM optical reference materials and those in development. Dr. Patrick Neumann from the Sensors, Measurement and Testing Methods Division introduced the guests to the highlight of the exhibits: the octocopter with its specially developed remote-controlled gas sensors – a system consisting of several optical sensors – is already in use in safe disaster monitoring and leak detection pilot projects.