January 31, 2023 | News & Notices New AIMsight Infrared Microscope Maximizes Automation to Significantly Improve Defect Analysis Efficiency
Product Photo: AIMsight Infrared Microscope Connected to IRXross Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer
Shimadzu Corporation announces the release of the AIMsight infrared microscope in Japan and overseas. This instrument easily and automatically measures micro targets by irradiating them with infrared rays, and then investigating the reflectance and transmittance. It features easy determination of the measurement range via a wide-field camera, automatic identification of measurement targets, automatic setting of measurement position, and automatic analysis via a contaminant analysis program. In addition, out of concern for the environment, a T2SL (Type II Super-Lattice) detector has been adopted. The T2SL does not use mercury or cadmium, which are restricted under the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive. The T2SL detector, a so-called quantum infrared detector, is gaining attention as a high-sensitivity, next-generation infrared sensor. In addition to trace contaminant analysis and quality control in fields such as chemistry, electrical devices and electronics, machinery, and transportation equipment, this instrument will play a role in researching microplastics, tiny plastic particles that have a negative impact on the environment.
An infrared microscope is used by connecting it to a Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometer. Using the reflection and transmission of infrared light, it can measure micro regions that cannot be measured by FTIR units only. The main applications are for the analysis and identification of micro contaminants, such as contaminants adhering to pharmaceutical pills, dirt on electronic circuit boards, and microplastics. At the same time, as the demand for measurements with infrared microscopes has grown, so too has the number of analysts lacking experience with such measurements. There is now a strong demand for quick, easy, trouble-free measurements of smaller targets with good sensitivity.
In 2016, Shimadzu Corporation released the AIM-9000, an infrared microscope equipped with excellent sensitivity and an automatic contaminant analysis function. AIMsight maintains the high sensitivity of the AIM-9000 while offering an improved operational experience. It is intended for industrial applications in a variety of sectors, including drug manufacturing, materials science, electrical devices and electronics, machinery, transportation equipment, and the environment.
Shimadzu will continue to provide accurate analysis data with a variety of applications, thereby contributing to solving social issues, such as microplastics, through contaminant analysis.
1. Faster Search for Measurement Sites
This instrument is equipped with Shimadzu’s proprietary wide-field camera and an infrared microscope camera. The wide-field camera is not only capable of observations up to 10 × 13 mm in size, but it supports variable digital zooming up to factor of 5. Additionally, a visual field as small as 30 × 40 µm can be observed with the infrared microscope camera. The two cameras share position information, so the observation target being tracked is never lost. The instrument includes a 330× digital zoom function, and micro measurement targets are quickly found from the wide-field observations. For inexperienced users, a function is provided that identifies the measurement target with a simple click on the image in the AMsolution control software, and automatically sets the optimal measurement position in just one second.
2. Measure Micro Areas with High Sensitivity
The instrument provides the highest sensitivity in its class with a signal-to-noise ratio (S/N ratio) of 30,000:1. High-sensitivity data is quickly acquired even for micro measurement targets 10 µm in size. Further, the length of targets can be measured by selecting the start and end points in the image. A function is included to measure the diameter of microplastic particles.
3. Contaminant Analysis Program Provides Automatic Analysis
After the data is acquired, it can be analyzed automatically by a contaminant analysis program provided as standard with the LabSolutions IR FTIR control software. The contaminant database, which uses a proprietary Shimadzu algorithm, provides high-accuracy analysis results. Qualitative results can be obtained in seconds, with no troublesome work required by the analyst. Additionally, qualitative accuracy can be heightened by combining the program with Shimadzu’s original database, the Contaminant Library, the Thermally Degraded Plastics Library, and the UV-Degraded Plastics Library.
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