Analytic separations assure that food and other products are pure, monitor the quality of air and water and contribute to the development of new products from semiconductors to plastics. Classical techniques such as chromatography and spectroscopy may sound like the stuff of high school chemistry, but they are evolving and still very much alive.
New technology is rapidly transforming analytic separations into an industry of growth that is finding more and more applications. Tests that once took days in a laboratory can now be done in minutes in the field. Hand-held devices identify pollutants in stack gases or sift through thousands of possible environmental chemicals. New instruments are changing the rate at which technology flows from the laboratory into the marketplace.
Whether the problem is isolating a substance of commercial interest in the laboratory, purifying a product, or cleaning waste from contaminated soil, the technology to separate and purify molecules of choice is of critical importance in industry.
Based on the monthly newsletter Analytic Separations News, this anthology informs readers of the fast growing fields of high technology organic and molecular separations, from venerable techniques like electrophoresis to microarrays, membranes and amplification. This review reports the news on biosensors, chromatography, electrophoresis, spectrometry, spectroscopy, microarrays, membranes, photonics, amplification, magnetics and peripherals.