Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy
How is Visible Spectroscopy Used?
Apr 23 2022
Applications for spectroscopy, a branch of science that uses light absorption and spectral patterns to analyse matter, are diverse and far reaching. Visible Spectroscopy is one of several techniques used by scientists to detect and quantify chemical elements in a sample.
The technique analyses absorption rates within the visible light range to detect chemical substances in matter. A spectrometer is used to direct a visible light source towards a sample, which then absorbs and re-emits the light. The technique is founded in the idea that different chemical compounds absorb the light in different ways. These absorption patterns are used to identify individual elements and calculate concentrations.
Visible Spectroscopy vs Ultraviolet Visible Spectroscopy
Visible Spectroscopy is used to measure wavelengths that fall within the visible light range, usually between 390 and 700 nm. Many specialised spectrophotometers also offer the capacity to measure wavelengths within the UV-visible region, which spans between 200 to 400 nm. This is known as Ultraviolet Visible (UV/VIS) Spectroscopy and is one of the most useful forms of the technique.
Below, we take a closer look at some of the different applications for Visible Spectroscopy and UV/VIS Spectroscopy.
Developing mRNA vaccines
Visible Spectroscopy recently stepped up to challenges faced by scientists developing mRNA vaccines, with the technique used to boost speed and accuracy when analysing potential components such as proteins, nucleic acids, preservatives and additives. This includes COVID-19 vaccines developed for COVID-19.
Pharmaceuticals research and development
Ibuprofen is one of the most widely used drugs in the world, helping to manage pain and reduce inflammation. In the United States, pharmaceuticals companies rely on Visible Spectroscopy to measure absorbance levels of the drug and ensure products meet strict industry standards.
Quality assurance in the food and beverage industry
Food fraud poses a major threat not only to businesses but also to consumers. Visible Spectroscopy is used to carry out quality assurance checks and ensure consumers enjoy a safe and genuine product. In the alcoholic beverage sector, Visible Spectroscopy is used to screen Scotch whiskeys and detect fraudulent products. The technology can be used to analyse everything from the distillery of origin to the raw materials used during the fermentation process.
Visible Spectroscopy offers an impressive variety of applications across a wide range of industries, however it’s not the only spectroscopy technique used to analyse matter. Find out more about some of the other state-of-the-art techniques, including X-Ray Spectroscopy which uses a beam of charged particles to excite atoms, in ‘What Are the Different Types of Spectroscopy?’
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