1. Editorial

Many of you readers are lucky enough to live in beautiful places or very close to wonderful pictorial sites. We plan as a continuing feature to publish photographs from you the readers. We need pictures of your houses, or your institutions, of views from your windows or of close-by historical sites. Add a caption – up to 20 words to explain the photograph. WE WANT 1600 PLUS PICTURES!

Format      Either photo size (6″x 4″) sent by post OR as digital pictures as jpeg or gif files.

To start you off we follow with a picture of the Journal HQ in Crawley, Winchester.

Editorial HQ –

200+ year old typical English Cottage.

Crawley was founded before 800 AD and is the prettiest village in the world!


Whenever one turns on the Radio or TV or scans the newspapers, the date 11th September comes up, so I decided to avoid it in IJVS – quite impossible of course.

As one who lives in rural isolation, doesn’t travel by plane very often and only rarely visits London, it is tempting to be contentious of people who have real fears about travelling or visiting urban centres. However, fears are real. We can, as scientists, be pompous and convince ourselves that the statistics are such that the likelihood of any of us being involved in some future catastrophe is miniscule, but it’s not zero.

So, can I please finish this deliberately brief editorial by offering you all our very best wishes and profound hope that all of you, your families and loved ones everywhere will come through the next few months in safety.


And from our correspondent 
in the NW-England…..

Highlights of the 166th meeting of the IRDG, held on 1st November, 2001, at LGC-NW, The Heath, Runcorn, Cheshire.

The latest IRDG meeting was well supported with approximately 35 attendees, several travelling from overseas and the far reaches of the UK (e.g. Kent, not necessarily Wales). Chaired by John Chalmers of VS consulting and Nottingham University the meeting was based around various aspects of industrial analysis: mapping/ imaging, process analysis and problem solving / databases.

A gentle and general introduction was given by Andy Brookes, ‘Vibrational spectroscopy at the LGC’. This described how LGC has changed in recent years from a government institution to a rapidly growing private company and used the development of vibrational spectroscopy to highlight this transition. Examples were given on Raman analysis of solid phase synthesised materials and the use of advanced FTIR techniques for problem solving.

This led into a very enthusiastic presentation on ‘EUROSPEC – International Spectroscopic Data Bank and Archive Project’ by Tony Davies, ISAS (Institute for Spectrochemistry and Applied Spectroscopy), Dortmund. The development of IUPAC data standards was described, and the need for more coordinated efforts in collating the vast range of spectroscopic data published was outlined. This has led to an EU funded project in this area (in conjunction with NIST in the US) which will begin at the start of next year (please pass all queries through IJVS).

The technical tone of the meeting was set by an excellent talk by Professor Robin Devonshire, Department of Chemistry, University of Sheffield detailing ‘The applications of Raman microscopy in light source science and technology’. This involved some very demanding applications of Raman spectroscopy examining the species present within light sources. Spectra down to 10cm-1 from the excitation line are required to provide the information needed – challenging with a single monochromator! However solutions have been found. Also a tantalisingly brief mention was made of some new developments in Raman SNOM – watch that space!

Amid the sounds of rumbling stomachs (mostly mine), Mike Claybourn, AstraZeneca, Macclesfield, presented an overview of ‘IR reflectance imaging of solid state pharmaceutical formulations’. Included were details of the merits of the various technologies as well as worked examples of how these apply to problems within the pharmaceutical industry. Discussion was given to the various approaches involved e.g. continuous versus step scan, 2D focal plane array versus linear array, how to improve the spatial resolution and the use of chemometric data analysis.

Following a hearty lunch IRDG business was discussed as were issues affecting those Society for Applied Spectroscopy members outside the US.

Paul Pudney, Unilever Research Colworth Laboratory, Sharnbrook described some excellent work ‘Investigating the microstructure of foods: confocal Raman imaging with multivariate analysis’. Paul has used a confocal microscope system with advanced chemometrics (developed by Unilever) to analyse food based samples with the analyte often at low percent concentrations in aqueous solution. Examples were shown of carotenoid mapping in tomatoes and mapping natural polymers with very similar (and weak) Raman spectra. The data analysis was able to automatically reconstruct the spectra of the components of interest and provide their spatial distribution – not only that but quantification was possible also!

The meeting moved onto process applications of vibrational spectroscopy with a description of ‘Multi-site implementation of NIR for at-line solution measurements’ by Alan Strawn, Kodak Limited, Harrow. The need for the measurement was highlighted as were the various steps in the building of the method. The problems associated with multi-site implementation were given along with the various solutions developed (no pun intended). Particular reference was given to the challenging analytical and cultural issues involved.

Finally, ‘Real–world applications of online Raman’ were presented by Ian Clegg, ABB Eutech, Daresbury. The key issues in the application of on-line analytical technology were discussed with particular reference to Raman spectroscopy. The individual benefits were highlighted, particularly those associated with the ability to make measurements on multi-phase systems and the ability to use the same technology throughout the scale up process of a reaction.

The meeting was well received by all who attended with lively discussions following many of the presentations and excellent networking opportunities throughout the course of the day – we can all look forward to the Christmas meeting at Kings College on the XX of December.

Best wishes from the North West.

Gordon F. Kirkbright Bursary 2002

In 1985 a fund was established as a memorial to Gordon Kirkbright in recognition of his contributions to analytical spectroscopy and to science in general. The fund is administered by the Committee of the Association of British Spectroscopists (ABS) and by the ABS Trust. The award enables promising non-tenured young scientists of any nation to attend a recognised scientific meeting or visit a place of learning.

Applications are invited for 2002 Gordon Kirkbright Bursaries. The award is not restricted to spectroscopists.

Full further information contact:

John Chalmers, 
Department of Physical Chemistry, 
School of Chemistry, 
University of Nottingham, 
University Park, 
Nottingham NG7 2RD, 
U.K.fax: +44 (0)1642 714306; 
email: vibspecconsult@aol.com

The closing date for entries is 30 April, 2002.




4GLS – A Fourth Generation Light Source for the UK  

4GLS is one of the major components of the Centre for Accelerator Science
Imaging and Medicine ­ CASIM ­ which is to be based at Daresbury Laboratory
in the U.K. 4GLS is essentially a suite of accelerator-based light sources
designed to complement the ESRF and diamond by providing state-of-the-art
radiation in the low energy photon regime ­ from the far-infrared to the
extreme ultraviolet. Please see the website http://www.4gls.ac.uk for

The 4GLS project has been selected as part of developments in Science in the
Northwest of the UK. The proposal is currently working its way through the
“Gateway” process. As part of this process we are seeking letters of
interest and support for the project from potential UK and European academic
and industrial users of the facility. We believe that the 4GLS facility
will offer unique opportunities to vibrational spectroscopists and invite
readers of IJVS to submit letters of interest or support. We are happy to
answer questions the community may have and to assist in developing
scientific ideas. Readers of IJVS are invited to contact members of the
4GLS project group to for assistance/discussion.

Andrea Russell
Infrared Contact for the 4GLS project
Department of Chemistry
University of Southampton
Email: a.e.russell@soton.ac.uk


Raman Spectroscopy in Archeology & Art History

20th November 2001
British Museum, London

I attended this wonderful meeting and promised to report in this edition of IJVS. I asked contributors to send in photographs to make the report better. Many people have but it is clear that we cannot complete the report without delaying publication. So – the report WILL feature in the Christmas edition.

Sorry folks,


Virus Alert…..

Just thought I’d better say a few words as just before we published this edition, I fell foul to the Bad Trans virus. Fortunately I thought something was up more or less straight away, but I did get some emails from some of you saying that I’d emailed you with the virus attached. Once you get it this rather annoying virus, it starts sending emails to other people in your address book, then you get loads of emails back, the idea being to slow up or eventually stop the internet with a mass of emails.

I haven’t returned any emails back anyone who emailed me advising me I’d sent the virus, but just wanted to take this opportunity of apologising to them. I didn’t do it on purpose. 

To anyone out there who creates these viruses, it’s not big and it’s not clever. You are obviously highly intelligent people, with brains the size of small planets, if only you did something worthwhile with your intelligence the world might be a happier and more peaceful place.