DC Baltimore

Baltimore-Washington Section of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy
April 2002

In this Issue:

Local Section News

A note from Kris Patterson, the Acting Chairman of the Baltimore-Washington section of the Society for Applied Spectrroscopy.

This is the first meeting this year. We ended last year with no volunteers to run for office and, therefore, no one to organize activities for this year. In order to prevent the demise our section, Mike Epstein and I volunteered to organize the group for this year. Over the past 20 years, we have each held several offices in the local society. John Canham, last year's chairman, has also been contributing by finding a speaker for this month, and Jeb Taylor, our treasurer and last elected officer, has played a vital role by maintaining the local society records and bank accounts.

Over the past few years it has become apparent, based on the poor attendance, that restaurant type dinner meetings have not been working well. This year we are trying something different. The April meeting is being held in a conference room at the US Department of Agriculture in Beltsville instead of at a restaurant. During the Happy Hour (I use this term loosely since alcohol is not allowed in the government facility) we will be having pizza along with some fruit, veggie platters, other munchies, cheesecake and soda. This will keep the cost down and should allow us to have the talk and end the evening earlier than has been the case previously. Our speaker is Dr. Christopher Scurlock who has been working in the Optics Branch at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Please check out the abstract for a description of this interesting talk.

We are planning one more meeting for May. This will be held at NIST and will be featuring one of the tour speakers from the national SAS office. In addition to the late afternoon talk, we may be able to arrange a tour of the new chemistry building at NIST and plan to follow that with an optional dinner out at a local restaurant.
It is our hope that by reducing the number of meetings, reducing the cost and by having meetings that end earlier we can meet the needs of the membership. This also reduces that amount of work required to be an officer in the local society. In order for this section of the Society to continue to exist, it is necessary to have people that can volunteer time to serve as officers. The amount of time required is not great and there are plenty of people who have served as officers in the past that can offer advice and will help. Please contact Mike Epstein or myself if you even think that you might be interested.

Kristine Patterson, Ph.D.

Meeting Announcements

Contamination Control: An Enabling Technology for Spacecraft Operation

Christopher Todd Scurlock, Ph.D.
Goddard Space Flight Center

Abstract: Spacecraft instruments, designed to perform scientific studies, are demonstrated to have failed or had lifetimes severely reduced due to contamination within the spacecraft. Ergo, Contamination Control is an enabling technology for spacecraft instrumentation. That is, the spacecraft cannot function without proper contamination control. Current work in the Optics Branch of the Goddard Space Flight Center is presented that shows some of the efforts to improve materials selection and increase contamination control, specifically on optics designed for the far Ultra-Violet. The efforts employ spectroscopy and related techniques.

About the speaker: Christopher T. Scurlock received a B.S. in Chemistry from Wheaton College in Illinois and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry form Arizona State University where he studied with Dr. Timothy Steimle. After graduation he had post-doc experience at both the University of Georgia and at NIST. He is currently a scientist in the Optics Branch at Goddard Space Flight Center.

Date: Thursday April 11, 2002

Place: US Department of Agriculture, Building 005, Room 21, Beltsville, Maryland 20705

Time: 6 pm Social Hour and Food, 7 pm Seminar

Cost: $5 - Pizza, vegetable tray, fruit, munchies, cheesecake, soda

Reservations: Please make your reservations by NOON, Monday, April 08, 2002 by calling Kris Patterson at work 301-504-0640. IF YOU RESPOND VIA E-MAIL, FOR THIS MEETING PLEASE SEND ELECTRONIC RSVP's TO: patterson@307.bhnrc.usda.gov

Directions: From the Washington Beltway Exit 25 (Route 1) go toward Beltsville/Laurel (North). After the Shell station on the right (~1/8 of a mile after the Beltway), exit right toward the Agricultural Library and then take an immediate left to cross Route 1 into the Research Center. Take the first right, Circle Drive, and a left after the last building (Building 005). Park in the lot to the right, next to the building. Room 21 is an addition on the back of the building. Walk across the grass to the glass panel door. Due to security, the building is locked down so someone will let you in.


Dr. Susan Plunkett
Philip Morris USA Research Center, Richmond, VA

Multi-component analysis of Cigarette Combustion Gases Using a High Resolution Mid-Infrared Tunable Diode Laser Spectrometer

A dual mid-infrared tunable diode laser system (IR-TDL) has been developed for the simultaneous detection of multiple gaseous components in cigarette smoke. The high spectral resolution (0.0006 cm-1) and rapid time response (20 Hz) of the TDL system are ideal for separating the absorptions from the multitude of gas phase components found in this matrix. The combustion products are sampled into either a 0.3 liter, 18 meter multiple pass absorption cell for time-resolved applications or into a 3.0 liter, 100 meter absorption cell for improved sensitivity. Two independent beam paths allow simultaneous detection in two wavelength regions; the first for ethylene and ammonia at ca. 965 cm-1 and the second for formaldehyde at ca. 2800 cm-1. A non-linear least squares procedure is used for on-line "fingerprint" fitting of up to four gases with each diode. We have observed as many as six gases (off-line) in a 0.3 cm-1 spectral range in the smoke matrix. Results demonstrating the instrument sensitivity and time response, and the complexity of the smoke matrix will be presented. New TDL applications, such as monitoring volatile reporter molecules in expired breath or in transdermal emissions as non-invasive bio-markers for early disease diagnosis will be discussed. Also new enabling technologies, such as quantum cascade lasers which operate near room temperature with a reliable spectral output as opposed to cryogenic semi-conductor-based lead-salt diode sources will be demonstrated.

Dr. Susan Plunkett received a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in History (magna cum laude) from the University of Richmond, Richmond, VA in 1989. She performed graduate work at Duke University under the direction of Professor Richard A. Palmer, developing and applying time-resolved step-scan FT-IR spectroscopy to the study of the photodynamics of heme proteins and transition metal complexes. Susan conducted postdoctoral research with Professor Mark Braiman in the Biochemistry Department at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. She used step-scan FTIR to study the photodynamics of the transmembrane chlorine pump halorhodopsin and developed supported planar germanium waveguides for obtaining mid-IR evanescent-wave absorption spectra from biomembranes of individual cells. In 1996 she joined Philip Morris, USA Research Center in Richmond, VA developing infrared spectroscopic methods to analyze cigarette smoke, particularly high resolution mid-infrared tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy.

Date: Thursday May 9, 2002

Place: Room A202, Building 227 (Advanced Chemical Sciences Laboratory), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Md 20899

Time: 3 p.m.

Cost: None. We will take the speaker to dinner after the talk and all are invited to join us at a local restaurant.

Reservations: Because of increased security at NIST (we are now a closed campus), ALL visitors must go through a security check at the main gate. I must have a list of all attendees by noon on Wednesday, May 8. If you plan to attend, you can contact me by email at michael.epstein@nist.gov or by phone at 301-975-8941. I will need your name, affiliation, and contact information. I will also arrange a tour of facilities for those who wish to come early, before the talk. More details shortly.

Directions: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/maps/nistmaps.html

Your Baltimore-Washington Section Officers for 2001-2002:

Acting Chairman: Kris Patterson, USDA, 301-504-9010, patterson@307.bhnrc.usda.gov
Acting Chairman-Elect: Mike Epstein, 301-975-8941, michael.epstein@nist.gov
Secretary: vacant
Treasurer: Jeb Taylor, FDA, 301-827-5246, TAYLORJ@cder.fda.gov
Newsletter Editor: Kris Patterson, USDA, 301-504-9010, Fax: 301-504-9062, patterson@307.bhnrc.usda.gov
Science Fair and Student Award Committee: Bob Koons, FBI, 703-640-1538
Web page editor: Mike Epstein

Visit our local section sponsor WWW pages:

Spectral Dimensions, Inc. designs and manufactures chemical imaging instrumentation. It is a privately owned company with its principal office located in Olney, MD. The company was formed in response to an increasing demand for new and more powerful spectroscopic imaging technologies. Its product line encompasses systems for performing FT-IR, NIR, and Raman imaging in a variety of basic research and process control applications. For the next generation of FTIR, NIR, or Raman spectral imaging systems, contact us! Phone: (301) 260-0290 Fax: (301) 260-0292, Email: info@spectraldimensions.com.

The Perkin-Elmer Corporation - Analytical Instruments Division. Take a look and you will see more: The AA ANALYST systems have set a new standard for flame and furnace users, utilizing true STPF conditions and total automation. The State of the Art OPTIMA 3000 series systems having sold nearly 2000 units in less than four years, has become a staple for ICP-OES users. With simultaneous and sequential versatility, increased speed and the widest dynamic range for ICP. The industry leader ELAN 6000 ICP-MS system which is installed in more than 50% of all environmental laboratories using ICP-MS worldwide has continued to be a stellar performer. Each of these systems have set new standards for the Analytical World, and there is more to come. Northeast Region Sales and Service, Inorganic Division, 761 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06859-0010, PH 800-762-4000, FAX 203-762-4222

Links to other local scientific organizations and conferences of interest:

Chemical Society of Washington, CSW, Local Section of the American Chemical Society

5th International Conference on Mid-Infrared Optoelectronics Materials and Devices, September 8-11, 2002, Annapolis, Maryland

Past Issues of the Baltimore-Washington Section Newsletter (including Historical Events in Chemistry for those months)

March 1999
April-May 1999
Summer 1999
September 1999
October 1999
November 1999
December 1999
January/Feb 2000
March 2000
April 2000
May 2000
November 2000
February 2001
April 2001

March and April/May Historical Events in Chemistry and Spectroscopy by Leopold May, Department of Chemistry, Catholic University

Spectrum Go to the National SAS Home Page

For more information concerning Baltimore-Washington Section activities, email John S. Canham, john.s.canham.1@gsfc.nasa.gov

Page prepared by: Mike Epstein
Last Modified: April 15, 2002