Thermo Fisher Scientific has released a series of modules for its Nicolet 8700 FT-IR spectrometer to allow researchers to study fast reaction processes, chiral molecules and molecular films.
The new enhancements to the Nicolet 8700 Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) research spectrometer allow researchers to study ultra-fast chemical and biochemical reaction processes as well as probing the stereochemistry of chiral molecules and determining the structure of thin molecular films.
The spectrometer has a spectral range from 27,000 to 20cm-1 and can be coupled with various other analysis modules that enable advanced infrared microscopy, GC-IR (gas chromatopgraphy - infrared spectroscopy) and TGA/FT-IR (thermal gravimetric analysis / FT-IR).
Historically, the most important analytical applications of IR spectroscopy have been the qualitative and quantitative analysis of organic compounds and mixtures.
While the presence of the functional groups present in a molecule is easily determined, it is not usually possible to get information about the relative positions of those groups within a molecule.
In recent years, the technique has found increasing use in studying reaction kinetics in situ as well as being used to look for disease biomarkers .
The updated instrument provides faster data acquisition and allows step-scan spectroscopy which eliminates the Fourier modulation interference that can be encountered in conventional, continuous scan FT-IR spectroscopy.
This allows measurements to be made as a function of time or phase allowing time-resolved spectroscopy (TRS) for following fast kinetic processes and phase-resolved spectroscopy (PRS) for monitoring modulation experiments.
The introduction of a new module that enables vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) spectroscopy and infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS) further strengthens the instrument.
VCD allows the study of chiral molecules based on the differential absorption of left- and right-handed circularly polarized light and Thermo Fisher Scientific claim the new module will lead to greater optical throughput and shorter data acquisition times.
This enables users to determine the purity of chiral molecules - a factor that is very important to the pharmaceutical industry as one chiral enantiomer may give a positive therapeutic effect and the other may cause severe side effects.
The technique can also be used to determine the secondary structure of proteins, which is also of interest of the pharmaceutical industry as more and more companies turn towards biological drugs.
IRRAS can be used to determine a molecules method and direction of bonding to a surface. The tabletop optical module (TOM) allows the study of Langmuir-Blodgett films on water and thin coatings on semiconductor wafers.