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Miniaturization catches on.

Industry trends toward miniaturization were evident this year at Pittcon as a number of instrument companies showed off tiny versions of their spectroscopy and chromatography systems--instruments that not long ago were considered cumbersome.

Increased interest in security and the need to conduct field tests for potential threats has been one significant factor in the effort to make instruments portable. GE Iontrack, for instance, released its Streetlab, a 6.9 lbs., $25,000 Raman system with a 785 nm laser. Geared toward law enforcement, forensics and military use, the StreetLab uses a nondestructive test, with an eye toward the value of samples as evidence. The Minotaur mass spectrometer (MS) from Griffin Analytical Technologies, designed to detect explosives and weapons, comes in four field versions, including the 400s, which ks billed by the company as the first portable MS capable of multidimensional mass analysis.

Nondefense applications, though, can also benefit from miniature tools. The SpotCheck NIR, an acousto-optic tunable filter-based spec (AOTF) from Infrared Fiber Systems, is about the size of a video camera. Designed for such applications as plastics recycling, liquid fuel analysis and pharmaceutical testing, the SpotCheck can lower testing costs and improve efficiency by bringing the lab to the sample instead of the sample to the lab.
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Publication:Instrument Business Outlook
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 31, 2004
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