The Top New Products of Pittcon 2009

Every year, IBO selects the top three new products at Pittcon. A new product is defined as one introduced late last year or in 2009. The top new products are selected based on technological advancement, potential for commercial success and innovation.

This year, two products gained notice due to their technical capabilities. Bruker BioSpin’s DNP-NMR is a dramatic advancement in sensitivity for solid state NMR, enabling the analysis for the first time of new types of samples. Hitachi High-Technologies’ JEM-ARM200F sets a new standard for resolution, enabling sub-angstrom resolution and atomic level analysis. Ahura Scientific’s TruScreen is the latest version of the company’s handheld Raman technology that improves upon the company’s previous products and meets a pressing need.

First Place

Bruker BioSpin introduced the first commercialized solid-state Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP)–equipped NMR at Pittcon, which is now available with its 400 MHz WB Avance III NMR. Developed at MIT, the DNP technology improves sensitivity by 50 to 150 times over conventional NMR systems, according to Bruker. This compares to the use of higher-powered superconducting magnets, which can only provide several times better sensitivity at best.

The DNP-NMR system includes a 263 GHz 50 W microwave source. The high-frequency microwave irradiation transfers the polarization of unpaired electron spins to nuclear spins, increasing sensitivity. The system is also equipped with a 9.7 T gyrotron magnet and low-temperature MAS probe. By increasing the NMR sensitivity of solid materials, DNP-NMR enables access to new types of samples, such as certain membrane proteins, and samples available in limited amounts. The DNP technology adds $800,000 to the NMR system price for a complete system priced at $1.5 million. The system is now available, and can also be added as an upgrade.

Second Place

In recent years, aberration correction has helped electron microscopy reach new levels of performance. At Pittcon, JEOL celebrated its 60th anniversary with the introduction of a transmission electron microscope (TEM) with the highest resolution of any commercial microscope in its class, pushing out the boundary of sub-angstrom electron microscopy. The JEM-ARM200F Atomic Resolution Analytical Microscope offers guaranteed high angle annular darkfield resolution in scanning TEM mode of 80 pm. For scale, this is smaller than the diameter of helium, the smallest atom. The advances in this scanning/TEM system enable truly atomic resolution, while energy dispersive and electron energy loss spectrometry detectors provide elemental mapping information.

This new platform has been designed with advanced aberration correction technology, as well as physical stability and shielding features that combine to make its high resolution possible. The images produced by the microscope are remarkable for their clarity on that scale. The first installation is expected at the Advanced Microscopy Laboratory at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The price is best described by: “if you have to ask . . .”

Third Place

Ahura Scientific introduced the TruScreen handheld Raman analyzer, which is even smaller than its first-generation Raman system (see IBO 3/31/05). The TruScreen is designed to be a simple to operate screening tool, giving end-users a threat/no-threat reading, as opposed to providing chemical identification. The system has been expressly designed to identify potential liquid explosives, and is intended to compliment current explosives detection technologies in the aviation security market. The instrument is very lightweight, and is able to analyze liquids through translucent plastic and glass containers. The TruScreen could potentially allow the flying public to once again take liquids with them in their carry-on bags. The TruScreen is currently in beta testing, and is expected to begin shipping later this year.

Honorable Mentions:

• Bruker AXS D2 Phaser XRD

• XOS XDF-1000 XRF

• Shimadzu IG-1000 Particle

Size Analyzer

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