Pittcon 2007’s New Products: Part I

Atomic Spectroscopy

Bruker AXS, following the acquisition of Quantron (see IBO 9/15/06), released “Brukerized” versions of Quantron’s arc-spark instruments around the first of the year. The Q6 Columbus is a laboratory system, as is the Q8 Magellan, which is priced at about $65,000. The Q8 Coronado (based on the Magellan) is an automated system for use in metal foundries.

GBC Scientific unveiled the compact design of its new XplorAA atomic absorbance spectrometer. The XplorAA control and interface will be through Palm Pilot. The system is expected to ship in a few months at an attractive price of under $10,000.

Horiba’s Jobin Yvon division presented the Activa-M simultaneous solid-state inductively coupled plasma spectrometer (ICP), offering additional capabilities beyond those of the Activa, which debuted in 2005. The main improvement is the control and analysis software, which has been set up so that unskilled users can easily carry out the desired analysis.

Rigaku introduced the TTRAX III, a theta-theta x-ray diffraction (XRD) powder diffraction system based on Rigaku’s TTRAX design. The 18 kW rotating anode x-ray source provides impressive power, and the system can also be used for small angle scattering. The system is priced between $350,000 and $500,000.

Spectro Analytical (AMETEK) displayed the ARCOS ICP, which has an impressive appearance due to the large Rowland circle geometry. Although of considerable size, which allows the instrument to achieve a wavelength resolution of less than 10 pm, the ARCOS is configured as a benchtop instrument. The ARCOS also has a wide spectral range of 130 nm–770 nm. It is expected to ship in mid-2007 at a price of around $80,000.

Gas Chromatography

PerkinElmer showed for the first time at Pittcon its Clarus 600 gas chromatograph (GC), which was introduced and began shipping in October 2006. Its primary advancement is significantly improved temperature ramping, which the company claims can reduce cycle times by up to 30%. System prices start at $40,000.

Torion Technologies has developed a portable GC/MS for security and military applications weighing 25 lbs, including gas supply and battery. The Guardion-7 is a suitcase-style system that uses solid phase microextraction as the injection system. The system is based on Torion’s toroidal ion trap mass spectrometry (MS) technology, which reduces power requirements. The battery has enough energy for about 40 analyses, each of which takes around 200 seconds. The controls are simple and a warning sounds if dangerous levels of a known compound are detected. The system should begin commercial shipment by May at a price under $50,000.


Mettler-Toledo’s LiCQ is a multiparameter water analyzer with a well-designed, flexible interface that allows different tests to be selected by the user and the appropriate method to be automatically used by the system. An optional automated barcode scanner helps high-throughput labs interface results accurately with a LIMS. The base system is priced at about $30,000, and the system has been available for a few months.

Liquid Separations

Bio-Rad Laboratories introduced the Profina protein purification system, a low-pressure liquid chromatography system (LC) designed for unattended affinity purification and desalting of recombinant tagged proteins. This automated purification system replaces manual affinity kits and can serve as an applications-based device. The Profina system uses preprogrammed methods for IMAC (native and denaturing), GST and desalting applications, optimized with prepackaged purification kits, buffers, reagents and accessories. Depending on configuration, the system costs $15,000–$20,000 and is currently available.

Dionex introduced the Eluent Regeneration (ER) technology to reduce ion chromatographic waste. The ER technology is an add-on component that uses the SRS self-regenerating suppressor to regenerate the starting eluent. A set of purification columns recombines and purifies the regenerated eluent before reuse. With the ER technology, Dionex’s ICS-1000 or ICS-1500 systems can be operated nonstop for up to four weeks at a time without any eluent consumption. ER is designed for simple water analyses, such as common anions and cations in drinking, surface and ground water matrices. The ER component is priced at around $1,000.

Metrohm-Peak launched the 850 Professional IC ion chromatography system, which features a fully integrated design. The system uses one USB connection to a computer for complete plug-and-play functionality. Its software offers complete system monitoring of hardware, columns and chromatography with self-diagnosis and immediate feedback that can alert users via electronic messages to a computer, PDA or cellular phone. The 850 Professional IC employs intelligent columns that store important column information, such as analysis, methods and remaining life, which is automatically retrieved once it is plugged into the system. The system, which will begin shipping in April, starts at $40,000 and includes software and a three-year warranty.

Paraytec introduced the ActiPix UV area imaging detector. This palm-sized detector combines the self-focusing capabilities of fused silica capillaries with the high speed, high spatial resolution of Active Pixel Sensors, which are similar to those used in digital cameras or mobile phones. The ActiPix D-100 detector is a miniature capillary UV detector designed for on-line monitoring at a single UV wavelength, particularly for use with HPLC, nanoLC, LC/MS and capillary electrophoresis. The detector is available as a single channel or can be multiplexed for up to eight capillaries in one detector.

Quant Technologies introduced the QT-500, a condensation nucleation light scattering detector (CNLSD). The system is an aerosol-based detector for HPLC that delivers high sensitivity to low nanogram levels. The CNLSD provides universal detection with a wide dynamic range. The detector employs a water condensation particle counter that condenses water vapor into particles, growing them to a size from which individual particles can be read using an optical detector. According to Quant Technologies, the QT-500 provides better sensitivity than detectors based on charged aerosol, which are somewhat limited by inefficient charging of small particles and electrometer noise. The detector is targeted to the pharmaceutical industry, which requires accurate concentration analysis of drug components. The company is currently taking orders for the system’s limited release in June. Full production is expected later in the year.

Shimadzu introduced its Prominence Ultra Fast Liquid Chromatograph (UFLC), which it states is up to 10 times faster than a conventional HPLC using a 5-µ particle column. A key component to the system is the SIL-20A autosampler, which is capable of a 10-second injection cycle. In addition, the LC-20AD solvent delivery system, which features a microplunger design, provides gradient resolution and a high level of reproducibility at 100 nL per minute to 10 mL per minute flow rates. The Prominence UFLC also features an open system design that can accept an assortment of flow-control valves and column-switching systems. The UFLC can be used with Shimadzu’s Shim-pack XR Series columns, which provide high-speed, high-resolution analysis at pressures below 30 MPa (4500 psi). The UFLC system is shipping and is comparatively priced to conventional HPLC systems.

Mass Spectrometry

Bruker Daltonics introduced the RAID-AFM, an ion mobility spectrometer that adds to its line of RAID systems for security applications. Intended for monitoring critical infrastructure and buildings, the AFM can monitor up to 20 compounds at a time from an interchangeable library. The system is designed to operate for a year without any maintenance.

Pfeiffer Vacuum showed its new residual gas analyzer RGA, the PrismaPlus, an updated version of its stalwart Prisma RGA. This model of RGA, which has not been updated for the better part of a decade, includes updated electronics that are 10 times as fast as the previous model, as well as new software, which is integrated into the unit.

Thermo Fisher Scientific showed its LTQ XL linear ion trap MS with electron transfer dissociation (ETD), a large peptide fragmentation technique. A complementary technique to collisional induced dissociation, ETD increase sequence coverage and enables the analysis of new peptide classes. It is available as an upgrade or as an option on new systems.

Varian launched the 900-MS series Fourier Transform MS, consisting of the 901-MS hybrid electrospray MS, the 902-MS MALDI MS, utilizing IonSpec’s ProMALDI technology, and the 903-MS system for electrospray and MALDI use with the same magnet.

Materials Characterization

Beckman Coulter introduced two new particle characterization instruments. The Multisizer 4 is a Coulter counter that incorporates improvements on the current Multisizer instrument. The Delsa Nano Series is a combined particle analyzer and zeta potential instrument intended for use with solid flat surfaces, such as glasses and films. The pricing of the systems is still to be announced. Shipments are expected to begin by this summer.

Fluid Life’s qVisc 4320AX automated viscometer was presented at the PerkinElmer booth. The distribution, sales and service arrangement for the qVisc will allow PerkinElmer to provide a more complete offering of products to its customers in the lubrication industry. The system is fully automated and can run 56 samples per hour. The system began shipping around January 1 at a price of about $110,000.

Sample Preparation

CEM introduced the ExplorerQ automated microwave extraction system. The system shortens extraction times from hours to minutes and can process up to 48 samples. The ExplorerQ accommodates 35-mL or 10-mL pressurized vials with easy-to-use snap-on caps. The unique design alleviates the need for frits, o-rings or tools to cap the vials. In addition, samples do not have to be mixed with sand. The ExplorerQ is expected to be marketed to environmental, RoHS, pharmaceutical and neutraceutical, plastics and polymer industries. The system is currently available and listed at $35,000.

Molecular Spectroscopy

Axsun entered the handheld NIR market with its introduction of the Anavo system at this year’s Pittcon. The Anavo is designed to identify specific polymers in carpets for carpet recycling. The instrument is designed to be used by nontechnical personnel and requires almost no training to use. The Anavo has been shipping since the fourth quarter of 2006 and is priced at around $20,000.

Bruker Optics offered two new systems, the VERTEX 80 and the ALPHA FT-IR. The VERTEX 80 is the latest addition to the company’s VERTEX line of research instruments and is the nonpurged version of the VERTEX 80v, which was introduced last year. The ALPHA is an extremely compact entry-level FT-IR, designed for use in quality control and academic laboratories.

Thermo Fisher Scientific displayed its new Evolution 60 UV-Visible spectrophotometer. This latest addition to the company’s Evolution line at the entry level, it is designed to be a compact basic instrument that includes 21CFR Part 11 compliance when configured with a PC and Thermo’s VISIONlite software. The Evolution 60 is also configurable with an on-instrument interface only for applications that do not require electronic records and signatures. Both configurations of the instrument are priced at around $7,000.

Process Analysis

ABB Analytical rolled out its new MB3000 benchtop FT-IR at Pittcon. The system is designed with simplicity and low-maintenance requirements in mind and is free of the need for consumables or components that are subject to periodic replacement. The MB3000 uses ABB’s HORIZON MB software package.

Bruker Optics introduced the MATRIX-MF, which is the FT-IR version of the MATRIX FT-NIR, and features a six-port multiplexor. The MF model is priced starting at $14,000.

The Tintometer Limited, maker of the Lovibond brand of color spectrophotometers, introduced the Lovibond TA4, a process color spectrophotometer designed with the petroleum industry in mind. The instrument is significant for taking laboratory color spectrophotometry and putting it online; previously, this was an area in which only the more limited photometric colorimeters have been available. The TA4 can accommodate up to four fiber optic channels. Priced starting at $40,000, it is already shipping.

Surface Science

HEKA displayed its ElProScan electrochemical probe scanner. The instrument is a novel surface science instrument that probes the electrochemical properties of the surface through a minute electrode sensor that follows the contours of the surface using a positioning system similar to a scanning probe microscope. The surface is immersed in an electrolytic fluid and the sensor detects the minute currents produced by redox reactions. The high-resolution version has stepper motors with 15 nm resolution. The system was introduced in the middle of 2006 at a price of €65,000 ($81,250).

JEOL released a new transmission electron microscope intended for structural biology and cryo-biological applications. The JEM-1400 has impressive user friendly software with video instructions to help novice users (e.g., biologists, who are not electron microscopists) master the instrument. Point-to-point resolution for the system is 0.38 nm. There has been excellent presale interest in the microscope, and the first installation was being carried out during Pittcon. The JEM-1400 has a base price starting at around $350,000.

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