The benefits of NIR spectroscopy over traditional technologies like HPLC are that NIR offers fast (often real time) and non-destructive results. NIR requires a calibration model to be build for each type of sample and therefore NIR is best suited for situations where large amounts of samples of similar characteristics need to be analyzed. Examples of such use case can be found in the agriculture, pharma and food industries.
Handheld NIR spectrometers are devices that take advantage of the benefits of NIR spectroscopy and enables that the instrument can be carried around for in-site, real time process monitoring.
Handheld NIR spectrometers
Portable NIR spectrometers are smaller, lower cost and lower weight than traditional analytical instruments. This opens up new applications such as
- on-site use – in the field or directly next to a process equipment
- larger number of units per site – for instance one NIR sensor for every piece of process equipment rather than one central NIR sensor that all samples has to be brought to for analysis
The miniaturization of a NIR spectrometer does come with some performance impacts:
- Less sensitivity – smaller sensors can collect less light and hence will seem less sensitive that a large table-top instrument
- Poorer resolution – closely spaced spectral features like absorption dips can be harder to distinguish with a handheld NIR spectrometer.