spectroscopy perspectives – high resolution ultrasonic spectroscopy for material analysis

Vitaly Buckin, Evgeny Kudryashov, Breda O'Driscoll

American Laboratory - (Spectroscopy Perspectives Supplement), March, pp. 28, 30-31 (2002)

Ultrasonic material analysis is based on the measurements of parameters of ultrasonic waves propagating through analyzed samples. This provides information on the interaction of ultrasonic waves with the sample’s interior, thus allowing analysis of its physical and chemical properties. The analytical power of ultrasound is well known for its application in medicine, i.e., the ability of ultrasonic waves to propagate through opaque biological tissues is used for visualizing the internal parts of a patient’s body and analyzing the bloodstream, etc. Despite this and other successful applications of ultrasound in certain fields of material analysis, the technique has not been widely used in research, analytical, and process control laboratories as a routine method for material analysis. The major factors that limited its applicability were the low resolution of the measurements, large sample volumes, and often complicated measuring procedures. The modern technology employed in the HR-US 101 high-resolution spectrometer (Ultrasonic Scientific Ltd., Dublin, Ireland) allows it to overcome these limitations, and ultrasonic instruments are now commercially available for a wide spectrum of analytical laboratories in the chemistry, physics, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, food, agriculture, environmental control, medicine, oil, petroleum, and gas industries and research. The device requires a small volume of sample (typically 1 mL and down to 0.03 mL custom made), and performs analyses with resolution down to 10–5% for ultrasonic velocity. The spectrometer was used in the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Biocolloids at the Department of Chemistry University College Dublin to analyze biopolymer–ligand binding, aggregation in suspensions and emulsion, formation of particle and polymer gels, micellization, and adsorption on particle surfaces.

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