In its special 50th anniversary issue (September 2008), Applied Spectroscopy paid tribute to a groundbreaking paper which heralded the birth of a solid-state approach to chemical imaging. Published in 1992, the paper was co-authored by Neil Lewis, who this year was appointed to the Board of Malvern Panalytical, becoming Technical Director for the company.
The novel instrumental approach described in his paper formed the foundation for modern near infrared chemical imaging systems, today led by Malvern Panalytical’s SyNIRgi. To celebrate the Society of Applied Spectroscopy’s 50th anniversary, a list of 25 groundbreaking papers, published during the 62 years of print of the scientific journal, was compiled.
The panel of editors chose: ‘Near-Infrared Acousto-optic Filtered Spectroscopic Microscopy: A Solid-State Approach to Chemical Imaging’, Volume 46, Issue 4, 1992, as part of their selection. At the time of the paper’s publication, co-author Dr Neil Lewis was tenured by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Laboratory of Chemical Physics in the USA. In 1999 he moved to lead a new effort in developing infrared chemical imaging systems as a Founder and President of Spectral Dimensions, Inc (SDI), which was acquired in 2006 by Malvern Panalytical.
Sixteen years on from its original conception, the SyNIRgi design has been developed to provide more options, more flexibility and faster answers than other system. It provides rapid data analysis for research into such issues as formulation, counterfeiting and quality control faced by the pharmaceutical industry today.