Enlightened Research: Vacuum Ultraviolet Application Research and Discovery

Posted by Cary Anne Simpson on February 19, 2016

(From left: Dr. Jesus Velazquez, Dr. Sonja Francis (Lewis Group), and Dr. Nathan Dalleska, at Caltech Environmental Analysis Center)

"A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it…?” Mark 4:21

Half a year ago in my last blog I discussed VUV Analytics’ efforts to find the "killer app" for the VGA-100 Vacuum Ultraviolet (VUV) Gas Chromatography (GC) Detector.  While much of our “in house” effort has been focused on industry, industry partners are typically hesitant to share what they have learned in an effort to find every opportunity for competitive advantage. 

We certainly can’t blame them for that. 

As a tech start-up we understand the need for NDA’s, MTA’s, and various other secrecy agreements that ultimately leave our applications marketing collateral DOA.  Sure, we can find commercially available surrogates for some of that work, but it’s not the same as the real thing and that data is still “sales” data for completely new technology that we have been trained to believe shouldn’t work.  Analytical chemists are paid skeptics and we all know that sales data doesn’t hold a candle to a good peer reviewed journal article for convincing a scientific skeptic.   

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Intelligence at the Analytical "Edge"

Posted by Clark Jernigan on January 07, 2016

This is my first ever blog post, so a little grace in advance, please.  I’ve been thinking lately about parallels between historical developments in the networking and computing fields and current developments in the analytical chemistry field.

Most of us are familiar with the sea changes from mainframes to minicomputers to desktop PC’s to smart phones, with the result that an iPhone 5S has about 1000 times the compute power of the first Cray 1 supercomputer.  Similarly, networking intelligence in the form of TCP/IP routers moved from the Arpanet core to enterprise networks to your home DSL or cable modem.    In each case, the move of intelligence to “the edge” has been enabled by robustness, simplicity, standards, system architecture, processing power, and software.

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Finding VUV's "Killer Application"

Posted by Cary Anne Simpson on June 18, 2015

Earlier this year my general practitioner measured my height at my regular check-up.  What-the-heck?   I’m used to my kids standing under the ruler annually, but I haven’t done that in…well, never mind.  It doesn’t matter how long it has been since I stopped growing.  I, of course, asked why I was being measured and was told by the very young, very caring nurse that it was because I was getting old and needed to be monitored to see if I was shrinking!  Great. That is something I hadn’t thought about. Clearly, however, it is necessary to monitor for things that we know intuitively, but maybe don’t think about day-to-day. 

We monitor certain health parameters. We monitor the chemicals in our pools. We monitor all kinds of things in the lab.  But what about the stuff we don’t know to monitor? What about the things we haven’t been able to see before?  When Sean, Dale, Phil, Derrell, and Anthony brought vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) spectroscopy to the gas chromatography (GC) laboratory they started to see things that had not really been seen before outside of synchrotron facilities. In fact, the VGA-100 has shown us a number of VUV spectra that have never been seen before and it is opening up a world of analysis that is new for everyone. We are looking at things that we simply could not see before.

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Confessions of an Economic Buyer

Posted by Chuck Miller on February 26, 2015


Imagine, you are now the proud owner of a new gas chromatography detector! After months of developing a comprehensive business case, fighting for budget, and making sacrifices, senior management finally approves your request.  Now with business matters aside, you can proceed with furthering your scientific objectives, improving your lab, and all is well in the world again.

Unfortunately for many scientists, the aforementioned scenario is more often the exception than the reality.

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