Applied Spectroscopy


An International Journal of Spectroscopy


A journal of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy—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 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.


May 2017 Issue Highlights


Focal Point Review

Raman Spectroscopy of Blood and Blood Components

Chad G. Atkins, Kevin Buckley, Michael W. Blades, Robin F.B. Turner


Blood is a bodily fluid that is vital for a number of life functions in animals. To a first approximation, blood is a mildly alkaline aqueous fluid (plasma) in which a large number of free-floating red cells (erythrocytes), white cells (leucocytes), and platelets are suspended. The primary function of blood is to transport oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body and move carbon dioxide in the return direction after it is produced by the cells’ metabolism. Blood also carries nutrients to the cells and brings waste products to the liver and kidneys. Measured levels of oxygen, nutrients, waste, and electrolytes in blood are often used for clinical assessment of human health. Raman spectroscopy is a non-destructive analytical technique that uses the inelastic scattering of light to provide information on chemical composition, and hence has a potential role in this clinical assessment process. Raman spectroscopic probing of blood components and of whole blood has been on-going for more than four decades and has proven useful in applications ranging from the understanding of hemoglobin oxygenation, to the discrimination of cancerous cells from healthy lymphocytes, and the forensic investigation of crime scenes. In this paper, we review the literature in the field, collate the published Raman spectroscopy studies of erythrocytes, leucocytes, platelets, plasma, and whole blood, and attempt to draw general conclusions on the state of the field.




Featured Paper

"Paintings Fade Like Flowers”: Pigment Analysis and Digital Reconstruction of a Faded Pink Lake Pigment in Vincent van Gogh’s Undergrowth with Two Figures

Jeffrey E. Fieberg, Per Knutås, Kurt Hostettler, Gregory D. Smith


Vincent van Gogh, the Post-Impressionist painter, is known the world over as a master of color. However, in many instances his paintings have changed considerably since his tragic death in 1890. Undergrowth with Two Figures is one such masterwork that belies the artist’s own description. In letters to his brother, Van Gogh described "violet" poplars and "pink" flowery undergrowth in this landscape painting, where now the violet and pink colors are shifted to blue or in some instances completely lost to white. Jeffrey E. Fieberg from Chemistry Program, Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, and his colleagues Per Knutas from the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Kurt Hostettler and Gregory D. Smith from the Indianapolis Museum of Art, used vibrational spectroscopy to identify the fugitive colorant as a geranium lake pigment containing the brominated fluorescein dye, eosin. Subsequently, nondestructive X-ray fluorescence analysis of 387 now-white flowers showed that nearly 38% of them used to contain the bright pink colorant eosin based on the observation of bromine in the brushstroke. Microfade testing on minute samples of preserved subsurface paint allowed the objective determination of the fading rate of Van Gogh’s pink oil paint.


Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), Undergrowth with Two Figures, 1890, oil on canvas, Cincinnati Art Museum. Bequest of Mary E. Johnston, 1967.1430. Photograph courtesy of the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio.


Using the initial color measurements from the fading experiment and the locations of previously pink flowers as identified by XRF, a digital reconstruction was prepared to suggest what Van Gogh might have seen when he completed the artwork. This reconstruction assists in the art historical interpretation of Van Gogh’s work, which the artist saw as the violet complement to a yellow painting of wheat fields. The restored coloration, while subtle, alters the way the viewer’s eye moves around the canvas, and revives Van Gogh’s aesthetic intentions when creating this painting.


A digital reconstruction of the faded pink flowers based on microfocus X-ray fluorescence analysis. (From "Paintings Fade Like Flowers”: Pigment Analysis and Digital Reconstruction of a Faded Pink Lake Pigment in Vincent van Gogh’s Undergrowth with Two Figures, Applied Spectroscopy, Article first published online: March 31, 2017.



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