FAQ Serstech Indicator

INTRODUCTION

Q: What is Raman spectroscopy?

A: Raman Spectroscopy is a non-destructive chemical analysis technique that enables chemical identification and verification, as well as screening. The substance molecules interact with the light photons from a laser in the visiblenear infrared, or near ultraviolet range. The laser light interacts with molecular vibrations, phonons or other excitations in the system, resulting in the energy of the laser photons being shifted up or down, called as inelastic scattering, or Raman scattering, of monochromatic light. The shift in energy gives information about the vibrational modes in the system and the resulting spectral read-out is like a molecular fingerprint. It is unique to the specific substance and it is called the Raman spectrum.
As part of our solutions, Serstech offers Raman spectroscopy instruments called “Indicator”.

Q: What can you analyse with your Serstech Indicators?

A: They can be used to analyze many different substances. Here are some examples:

  • Powders, pills, solids, minerals and fluids
  • Inorganic as well as organic materials
  • Pure chemicals, mixtures and solutions

Q: What can’t you analyse with Serstech indicators?

A:

  • Black or dark-colored samples
  • Highly diluted samples
  • Biological samples (Blood, urine, saliva)
  • Gases or vapors
  • Through opaque or thick containers

Q: How does Raman spectroscopy compare with other methods for chemical identification?

A: Compared to other methods of chemical identification, e.g. FTIR, Mass spectrometer, NIR, etc. Raman spectroscopy offers quick and non-destructive chemical identification. It even works through transparent packaging like glass and plastic. It is a quick identification method that can be used by anyone.The downside of using a handheld device is that measurements of certain substances can be blocked by fluorescence. Another is the weak signal from very low concentration samples that render them unsuitable.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Q: What is the spectral range of the instrument?

A: Spectral range is 400-2300 cm-1 with a spectral resolution of 10 cm-1

Q: What is the weight and size of the instrument?

A: Weight: 650 g, Size: 15.8×10.1×2.9 cm

Q: Is the battery rechargeable, and what is the capacity?

A: Rechargeable Li-ion, nominal voltage 3.7V, capacity 1950mAh, suitable for a typical working day before recharging.

Q: Does the instrument work through paper?

A: The signal is significantly reduced by paper so this method is not recommended.

Q: Can I use the Serstech 100 Indicator in rough conditions?

A: Yes, the Serstech 100 Indicator can be used to identify chemicals in hot, cold, humid, wet, bumpy or shaky conditions, so you can safely rely on the Indicator. It has successfully been tested according to military specifications, MIL-STD 810G, as well as European tests for dust and water, IP67 – water proof. It is also safe to use from an electrical point of view, having passed tests for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electrostatic discharge (ESD). This means that it is CE-approved.

Q: Under what temperature conditions does Serstech 100 Indicator operates?

A: Tests have shown that it is possible to operate in a range of -20 to +40⁰ C, but we nonetheless recommend that the Indicator is kept as close as possible to room temperature for optimal performance and battery life.

Q: Is there a laser in the indicator? What type of safety precautions must be taken?

A: The Serstech 100 Indicator uses a 785 nm laser with maximum laser power of 300 mW. It is a Class 3B laser product and complies with EN 60825-1:2007. You should never direct the beam towards other people or into areas where other people may be. Refer to the International standard EN 60825-14 user’s guide for guidance on identifying and controlling hazards associated with laser use.

Q: What is the minimum amount of liquid I can measure using the bottle adapter?

A: The vials available are 4 ml but one can measure as small as 400 µl of liquid.

SOFTWARE UPDATE

Q: Is it possible to update the firmware?

A: Yes, we continuously develop new features and make other improvements. These are released as firmware updates.

Q: How often will you provide updates to make sure the substance databases stay up to date?

A: This is an on-going process, and updates are made available regularly. New releases are available 2-4 times a year

Q: How can I update my software to the newest version available?

A: You can do that in three ways,

  1. Login at ‘Serstech.com’ and download the newest version of both Indicator and Chemdash via Software downloads menu. The update is stepwise so make sure that you first update from your current version to the newly possible version followed by the update with the latest version.
  2. Login at “Chemdash.com” and connect your device through the ethernet cable. Now, open the connected device and update it to the newest available version.
  3. You can email your query to ‘Info@serstech.com’ and we try to send you the update files to your email or dropbox.

MEASUREMENTS

Q: How can I process the data obtained from the indicator?

A: You can select and export the measurement as “. dx” format and then open the exported file in any “. dx” compatible software

Q: What is the data storage capacity for Serstech 100 Indicator?

A: Serstech 100 Indicator is equipped with 16 GB memory. This is large enough for approximately 20 000 measurements.

Q: How can I collect my measurements from the indicator?

A: You can collect the measurements in two ways:

  • Connect your indicator through USB cable to the computer and start the ‘Chemdash One’ software installed in your computer. You can also use connect your indicator to ‘Chemdash anywhere’ via ethernet cable. Now, one can see whether the instrument is ‘connected’ under devices tab. After the successful connection, all the measurements from the connected device will be automatically exported to the Chemdash software. You can view them under the tab > data > measurements> and print the pdf report generated for each measurement.
  • From Chemdash you can export each measurement in ‘. dx’ format. You should have an analytical tool that helps you to open the ‘. dx’ format files for further evaluation.

Q: How can I view or delete my measurements?

A: You can select the ‘Review’ option from the start menu and then view the measurements performed. You can select a single measurement and then either delete or view from the options below.

Q: I want to create my own library with my own measurements, how do I do it?

A: As an administrator, you have access to Chemdash software and there you can connect your indicator. This allows all the measurements to be directly uploaded in your tenant id. You can create your own library in Chemdash using “New Library” and add the measurements using “Add substance” option from either the measurements, library, or specstore.

Q: If we have a substance which is not present in the database, can it be added to the instrument?

A: Yes, you can add your own measurements, just use the Add measurement option from the Scan menu. All the measurements are automatically added in the local library and can then be identified later. Through Chemdash you can then edit substance information of the added substance and include it in an appropriate library.

INSTRUMENT OPERATION

Q: How can I get rid of the orange bar in the top of measurement window?

A: Orange bar means the instrument needs calibration. So, perform the calibration with polystyrene cap as instructed.

Q: Is it safe to use the Serstech 100 Indicator near flammable or explosive substances?

A: Skilled users have successfully identified more than 30 different explosives without triggering any reaction. However, it can be dangerous to use the Indicator on dark colored explosive substances such as gun powder. We therefore recommend that users refer to our safety guidelines.

Q: What is the working distance of measurement?

A: For the point and shoot and the 90-degree angle adaptor the focus is right at the end of them. As for the vial holder, the focus is about 3 mm into the vial.

Q: Why do I sometimes notice the indicator screen flickering when I start the indicator?

A: This is may be due to the low battery. So, turn off the instrument using the power button and charge it before restarting it again.

Q: When and how should I use Screen, Identify, or verify mode?

A: Screen– It is a method to find any regulated substances, you can start by scanning the samples using the screen mode. The red screen will show if you have any regulated substance whereas green indicates that the substance is not regulated. If you obtain an inconclusive result you proceed with “Identify” method.

Identify-  If you are not looking for any regulated substances, you can use this mode to identify the constituents of the sample.

Verify-  This mode is used when you want to verify your sample with a particular substance.

Q: Can I measure in my own vials? What is the difference in the results measured using Serstech Indicator supplied vials?

A: Yes, you can measure in your own vial but the one supplied with the indicator has less glass fluorescence which helps to get high quality spectra and easy identification of the substance.

CONTACT SERSTECH

Q: How do you manage Support?

A: Serstech has close relations with sales partners around the world. They are responsible for front line support and – in cooperation with us – provide dedicated local support.

Q: Where can I buy Serstech 100 Indicator?

A: Please check under Contacts to find a sales partner near you. If there is nobody in your location or if you interested in becoming a sales partner yourself, please contact: Jose Miguel Jimenez, VP Sales, jmj@serstech.com or Mikael Wanland, CEO mw@serstech.com

Q: What additional services does Serstech offer?

A: We offer consulting services such as training or measurements to support the early phases of your project. You’re welcome to contact us, or any of our sales partners for more information.