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Next Meeting of SAS-Chicago

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Shift Happens: Adventures with Raman Spectroscopy both Inside and Outside the Laboratory


Ian R. Lewis Ph.D.

Kaiser Optical Systems, Inc. Ann Arbor, MI


Approximately 90 years ago the discovery of the Raman Effect was published by Professor C.V. Raman and his student. Despite this length of time it is only recently that Raman spectroscopy could be considered a main stream analytical tool. In the last 20 years Raman spectroscopy has emerged as an important in situ analytical and process control tool. The early years of this period were dominated by improvements in Raman spectrometer components while recent years have seen a significant increase in the type and quantity of published in situ application successes. At the core of this emergence have been developments in sampling (including solid-phase sampling3) and sampling interfaces. The ability to flexibly configure the optical sampling interface allows Raman analyzers to be integrated to reactors and processing equipment. Raman spectroscopy offers a number of attractive features to the process control engineer for on-line characterization including a relatively fast response time, chemical functional specificity, and applicability to a wide variety of chemistries and materials. A secondary benefit when selecting Raman spectroscopy in industry is that a Raman analytical approach can be developed in the laboratory and accompany promising chemistries into manufacturing and throughput their lifecycle. In this work various examples of the application of Raman spectroscopy starting in R&D and also for characterization of industrial processes will be discussed. Lessons learned from working with museum artifacts, laboratory scientists and process engineers will be share and some of these are funny!


A native of the UK, Lewis earned a PhD in Polymer Science and Vibrational Spectroscopy (1992) and a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Chemistry and Chemical Technology in 1999 from the University of Bradford (UK). In 1992 he was appointed as an Honorary Visiting Research Scientist to the Interdisciplinary Research Center in Polymer Science and Technology (Leeds, Bradford, and Durham UK). He came to the US to the University of Idaho in 1993 as a postdoctoral researcher (under Peter Griffiths) and became a research fellow in 1995. Lewis joined Kaiser Optical Systems in 1996 as a Laser Spectroscopy Specialist and in 1999 took on the role of Research Products Manager and Senior Scientist. In 2001 he became the Marketing Manager for Kaiser and in 2004 added management of the Applications Support department. He currently holds the position of Director of Marketing. In his role, Lewis is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the marketing department which comprises both marcom and product management groups. Lewis serves on the governing boards of the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS) (currently a past-governing board chair), SAS regional section chair Detroit section (2016), and as chair of ASTM sub-committee on Raman spectroscopy (2001-present). Previous he has served on the Board of Managers (2004-2008) and as president of the Coblentz Society (2009-2011) and on the SAS Executive Committee /Governing Board (2013-2015) and as President of SAS (2014).