Spectro Inc., a global supplier of oil and fuel analysis instruments to industry and the military, has been awarded a U.S. patent for an innovative flip- top sample head for infrared spectrometers used in fluids analysis.
Compared to conventional flow-through cells, the patented head’s flip-top cell improves convenience and efficiency while enabling rapid, precise, quantitative sample analysis.
Unlike an enclosed flow-through cell, the flip-top cell features two separable hinged plates. After a sample is placed on one plate window, the plates are coupled together to define a sample chamber with a predetermined thickness, maintaining the fixed path distance necessary for accurate spectroscopic analysis. The result is an easy-to-use spectrometer cell that can be cleaned without solvents, eliminating time-consuming drying procedures.
The sample head is constructed of aluminum with hardened steel kinematic mounts. The mounts and cell windows are designed to eliminate interference fringes. The rugged, reliable design has been put through rigorous testing consisting of more than a million use cycles. In addition, the cell’s cartridge configuration enables it to be removed, making the head easy to adapt to different applications.
“This unique sampling interface represents just one of many patented or patent pending inventions that continue to distinguish Spectro from many of our competitors” said Brian Mitchell, president and CEO of Spectro Inc. “Fundamental to our development efforts and strategy is to invest in truly differentiated and protected Intellectual Property. This sample cell is employed in a number of our product configurations and gives Spectro real competitive advantage in the field of infrared fluids analysis.”
The patent application was filed in January, 2009, by current Spectro employees Thomas Barraclough, Patrick Henning, Ph. D. and Eric Olson, as well as Scott Albin, Michael Morkos and Kevin Keough. Patent number 8,384,895 was awarded on February 26, 2013.