Applications of Spectroscopic analysis

Applications of Spectroscopic analysis

Spectroscopy is one of the earliest instrumental methods of analysis which has made in-roads into almost every sphere of basic and applied research as well as manufacturing of consumer goods. This has been possible due to systematic progression of the absorption techniques and advances in areas such as IR, Raman, NMR, Mossbauer, ICP – OES, ICP-MS, Fluorescence and x-ray diffraction.

In this article a brief review is provided on applications of spectroscopy in diverse fields

Scope of Spectroscopy
Scope of Spectroscopy

Academic Research and Development

  • Structure elucidation of molecules
  • Biochemical studies such as DNA melting, Proteins, Enzymes, Nucleic acids, etc
  • Surface Characterization
  • Chemical kinetic studies on reactants and products of reactions
  • Qualitative and Quantitative analysis of transition metals and studies of chemical and biochemical processes
  • Isomeric studies
  • Detection in liquid chromatography analysis.

Forensic Applications

  • Fibers and paint chips from crime site
  • Diffuse reflectance studies of drugs, polymers, wood, powders, etc
  • Inks for forgery of documents, toners for origin of threatening letters
  • Gun – shot residues and explosives
  • Paints and pigments for forgery of paintings and artifacts
  • Analysis of narcotics and illicit drugs

Environmental Applications

  • Analysis of air pollutants – ambient and stack monitoring
  • Analysis of organic and inorganic contamination in waste waters and natural water bodies.
  • Packaged drinking water
  • Chemical oxygen demand (COD) & Biological oxygen demand ( BOD)
  • Pesticides, Phenols , etc in water analysis.
  • Measurement of greenhouse gases e.g. CO2, CH4 , etc.

Pharmaceutical Applications

  • Confirmation of unknown drugs against references
  • Dissolution studies of solid dosage forms for release of active ingredients.
  • Monitoring real time processes
  • Polymorphism studies.
  • Imaging of solid dosage formulations

Mineralogy and Gemology

  • Non – destructive studies of gems such as inclusions & impurities.
  • Elemental composition of minerals.
  • Identification of fakes
  • Aid in enhancement of visual characteristics such as heating, irradiation, impregnating gems with oils, waxes, etc.

Foods and Beverages

  • Vitamins
  • Trace Metals
  • Natural and synthetic colours of beverages and drinks

Astronomical Studies

  • Study of atmosphere of cool stars for molecular species
  • Studies in molecular clouds where new stars are formed
  • Doppler shifts of clusters of galaxies to track their movements
  • Presence of molecular species presence in interplanetary space
  • Analysis of rock and soil specimens of lunar surface and asteroids

The scope of applications is ever increasing as more and more applications are developing in important segments such as pharmaceuticals, foods, cosmetics, materials research, trace metal analysis, polymers and petrochemicals, mineralogy, extra- terrestrial studies, environmental monitoring and crime investigations.

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