Applied Spectroscopy

An International Journal of Spectroscopy

A journal of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy—over 70 years of scientific excellence and education


Cover of Applied Spectroscopy Journal



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Complete List of Issues and Abstracts (1951 to present)

Applied Spectroscopy is one of the world's leading spectroscopy journals, publishing high-quality articles, both fundamental and applied, covering all aspects of spectroscopy. Established in 1951, the journal is owned by the Society for Applied Spectroscopy and is published monthly. The journal is dedicated to fulfilling the mission of the Society to “…advance and disseminate knowledge and information concerning the art and science of spectroscopy and other allied sciences.”  All manuscripts are rigorously peer-reviewed.


The journal publishes high-impact reviews, original research papers, and technical notes. In keeping with the Society's educational mandate, Focal Point Review papers are free to view. This means that the articles are freely available at the time of publication to scientists, students, and the general public worldwide.


With an Impact Factor (IF) of 2.014, Applied Spectroscopy is in the top quartile of journals in the Instruments and Instrumentation category and in the top half of the Spectroscopy category.

Click here for further information on Applied Spectroscopy's Aims and Scope and manuscript submission guidelines.


Journal Highlights

Focal Point Reviews

As noted above, the journal publishes high-impact reviews, original research papers, and technical notes. In keeping with the Society's educational mandate, Focal Point Review papers are free to view.

January 2019 Focal Point Review

Portable Spectroscopy

Richard A. Crocombe

Until very recently, handheld spectrometers were the domain of major analytical and security instrument companies, with turnkey analyzers using spectroscopic techniques from X-ray fluorescence (XRF) for elemental analysis (metals), to Raman, mid-infrared, and near-infrared (NIR) for molecular analysis (mostly organics). However, the past few years have seen rapid changes in this landscape with the introduction of handheld laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), smartphone spectroscopy focusing on medical diagnostics for low-resource areas, commercial engines that a variety of companies can build up into products, hyphenated or dual technology instruments, low-cost visible-shortwave NIR instruments selling directly to the public, and, most recently, portable hyperspectral imaging instruments. Successful handheld instruments are designed to give answers to non-scientist operators; therefore, their developers have put extensive resources into reliable identification algorithms, spectroscopic libraries or databases, and qualitative and quantitative calibrations. As spectroscopic instruments become smaller and lower cost, “engines” have emerged, leading to the possibility of being incorporated in consumer devices and smart appliances, part of the Internet of Things (IOT). This review outlines the technologies used in portable spectroscopy, discusses their applications, both qualitative and quantitative, and how instrument developers and vendors have approached giving actionable answers to non-scientists. It outlines concerns on crowdsourced data, especially for heterogeneous samples, and finally looks towards the future in areas like IOT, emerging technologies for instruments, and portable hyphenated and hyperspectral instruments.


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