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 “Arx instrument”.

Q: What can you analyse with our Raman Spectrometer?

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

  • Powders, pills, solids, minerals and fluids
  • Black or dark-colored samples (SERS measurement)
  • Inorganic as well as organic materials
  • Pure chemicals, mixtures and solutions
  • Capability to detect up to 4 components per scan

Q: What can’t you analyse with Serstech Raman Spectrometers?

A:

  • 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.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Q: What is the spectral range of the instrument?

A: Spectral range is 400-2300 cm-1 with a spectral resolution of 8-10 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. More than 8 hours of typical use. Can be extended with standard mobile power banks.

Q: Does the instrument work through paper?

A: The signal is significantly reduced by paper so this method is not recommended. Paper materials are inherently Raman active and will give off strong signals. 

Q: Can the instrument detect dark colored substances?

A: .  Through our SERS capabilities, this is possible by diluting the substance or chemical in methanol and run a SERS measurement.

Q: Can I use the Serstech instruments in rough conditions?

A: Yes, the Serstech instruments can be used to identify chemicals in hot, cold, humid, wet, bumpy or shaky conditions, so you can safely rely on the instrument. Approvals: CE, IEC 60529 IP67, MIL-STD-810G 514.6 (vibration), MIL-STD-810G 516.6 (functional shock).

Q: Under what temperature conditions does Serstech indicator operates?

A: Tests have shown that it is possible to operate in a range of -20 to +50⁰ C.

Q: Is there a laser in the instrument? 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 ongoing 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: To get the newest version you contact your local Serstech partner.

MEASUREMENTS

Q: How can I process the data obtained from the Indicator instrument?

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 Instruments?

A: Serstech instruments are equipped with 16 GB memory. This is large enough for more than 100 000 measurements.

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

A: You can collect the measurements in two ways:

  • Connect your Indicator to the computer using a USB cable and start the ‘Chemdash’ software installed on your computer. Verify the connection status of the instrument in the ‘Devices’ tab. Once successfully connected, the Chemdash software will automatically import all measurements from the connected device. Review these measurements in the ‘Measurements’ section and generate a report for the selected data. Save each measurement report easily as a PDF file for your convenience.
  • From Chemdash you can export each measurement in *.txt, *.csv and *.jcamp format.

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 instrument. 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 that 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: The orange bar means the instrument needs calibration. So, perform the calibration with a polystyrene cap as instructed.

Q: Is it safe to use the Serstech instruments 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 instrument on dark colored explosive substances such as gunpowder. We therefore recommend that users refer to our safety guidelines.

Q: What is the working distance of measurement?

A: For the point and shoot 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 instrument 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: Can I measure in my own vials? What is the difference in the results measured using Serstech supplied vials?

A: Yes, you can measure in your own vial but the one supplied with the instrument 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 Arx instrument?

A: Please check under Contacts to find a sales partner near you. If there is nobody in your location or if you are interested in becoming a sales partner yourself, please contact Johan Raneke, CSO, johan.raneke@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.