The 1064Defender is a new addition to Thermo Scientific's portfolio of handheld Raman spectrometers designed primarily for security applications. The spectrometer builds on the commercially most successful First Defender spectrometers and fills a gap in Thermo's portfolio - the 1064nm handheld Raman excitation laser spectrometer. It now offers the most comprehensive portfolio of handheld instruments for hazardous substance identification. The instrument is primarily designed for the analysis of hazardous substances where thermally unstable samples are not at risk (explosives, explosives...). The main field of application is therefore in the field of drug analysis, food safety control, hazardous waste analysis, toxic agrochemicals or environmental accidents, i.e. wherever the use of an excitation laser with a wavelength of 1064 nm is advantageous. At the same time, the physical limits imposed by the use of a 1064 nm excitation laser (NIR laser) still apply - i.e. a higher risk of initialization of thermally unstable samples and luminescence of some glass containers. The 1064Defenderoffers the most advanced technology currently available and sets new standards in the category of handheld or portable 1064 nm laser Raman spectrometers, as the First Defender RMX has done in the past. These remain the clear choice for applications where measurements need to be made through thick glass or glass containers with higher rare earth content (exhibiting high 1064 nm generated fluorescence) and especially where there is a risk of energetically unstable materials.

Advantages offered by the 1064Defender spectrometer over existing spectrometers with 1064 nm or 1030 nm lasers

  • Better true spectral resolution, better spectral data quality, high analysis speed
  • Traditionally high ruggedness and durability - the product not only meets the requirements of MIL-STD-810H and IP68 standards, the custom manufacturing and design also fully meets the requirements of the US Army.
  • A complete protofolio of algorithms developed and patented by Thermo (and previously by Ahura Scientific). There still remains a significant difference in this area that brings important differences, in particular the following features:
    • Automatic optimization of analysis parameters during the measurement process based on advanced algorithms (including continuous spectral background compensation). The latest generation of detector and electronics in conjunction with the algorithms used also ensures a high dynamic range of measurements even when using an InGaAs detector. There is no detector saturation when analyzing samples with high fluorescence. The following figures demonstrate the quality of the spectral data for samples with high intrinsic fluorescence, a comparison with typical Raman spectrometers with a 785 nm excitation laser is shown. An interesting comparison is made for some red wines, the 1064Defender spectrometer provides a good quality spectrum at a measurement time of 10s and is thus able to reliably and quickly identify cocaine dissolved in red wine.

      Red Wine Torres - Raman spectrometer with 785 nm excitation laser

      Red wine Torres - Raman spectrometer 1064Defender

    • The spectrometer always works with a complex RAW spectrum without aggressive digital data filtering (a requirement for true probabilistic analysis). The user always sees what the actual spectrum looks like while avoiding false positive identifications for samples that do not have a processable Raman signal or have a poor quality Raman spectrum (samples with extreme fluorescence, samples without Raman signal). This is a major problem for spectrometers that use aggressive data filtering in the first step. While the user "sees" nice (idealized) spectra without noise, in the case of "noisy" signals, spectral peaks are generated that are only noise-generated artifacts and do not represent the true spectrum. This results in false positive identifications even for unmeasurable samples, where the output of the analysis should only be information that the sample cannot be identified by Raman spectrometry.

    • Chemometric algorithms based on probabilistic analysis - offers better identification reliability, especially for multicomponent mixtures and spectrally complicated samples.

    • It combines the algorithms known from Gemini and FirstDefender, including the tagging option (ID mode), which results in a list of detected substances, and the algorithms used by the TruNarc spectrometer (algorithms optimized for the analysis of real drug samples, Screener mode). The result is Alarm, Warning, Clear or Inconclusive and the name of the substance found. For more information on the algorithms used by the TruNarc spectrometer, please see our earlier application note Trends in Field Drug Analysis (download here). The user can easily switch between ID and Screener modes, or create different profiles that use a pre-selected spectral data evaluation mode.

    • New improved user interface. This is still based on the philosophy of the First Defender and Gemini. Existing Thermo users are able to fully operate the instrument with minimal training, but the interface adds a number of extra features. For example, below is an example of the interface in sample measurement mode.

    • It is possible to create user profiles, these can have different levels of enabled features

    • Improved interface for viewing spectra on the spectrometer. An interesting feature is the comparison of spectra for mixture samples. The measured spectrum, the theoretical spectrum of the mixture and one spectrum for the pure substance in the mixture are displayed simultaneously. By pressing the arrow, the next spectrum of the pure substance found in the mixture is displayed cyclically. Of course, there is still the possibility of overlapping with other spectra from the library or spectra of previously measured samples.

    • New connectivity options - web interface including mobile phone interface. The spectrometer can be connected to a PC, tablet or phone via WiFi or USB (type C) and the spectrometer interface can be opened in any web browser. Here you can make profile settings, communication and most importantly view data, export spectra, print reports etc. All software is run on the spectrometer itself, so you can connect from any PC without installing software.

Do you want more information? Do you want to try out the capabilities of the 1064Defender spectrometer? Contact us for a presentation. Our own spectrometer is available in our company.

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