News and Updates! | Research Highlights

Research Highlights
hATR Microscope Reveals Post-Cycling Changes of Advanced Electrolyte Materials
June 12, 2024
Researchers from the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia use the horizontal attenuated total reflection (hATR) microscope of the Mid-IR beamline to study solid-state batteries. They made use of our focal plane array (FPA) detector to track heterogeneities in the electrolyte surface during changing/discharging.Read the paper!Dong, S.; Xie, G.; Xu, S.; Tan, X.; Chaudhary, M.; Zhang, Y.; Wu, R.; Wen, F.; Ayranci, C.; Michaelis, V.K.; Quirk, A.; Rosendahl, S.M.; Liu, J.; Fleischauer, M.D.; Sang, L. Cellulose-Encapsulated Composite Electrolyte Design: Toward Chemically and mechanically enhanced Solid-Sodium Batteries. ACS Nano 2024, 18(25), 16285-16296. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.4c03910
Research Highlights
Synchrotron FTIR Identifies Performance and Composition of Oil-Remediating Aerogels
May 1, 2024
Researchers from Memorial University in St. John's Newfoundland and Laborador use the Bruker endstation at the Mid-IR beamline to analyze an oil-absorbing aerogel. The chemical composition of the aerogel was identified with SR-FTIR. Furthermore, the aerogel was imaged before and after UV-irradiation to identify UV-induced changes in the material.Read the paper!Hongjie Wang, Xiujuan Chen, Bing Chen, Yuming Zhao, Baiyu Zhang. Development of a spiropyran-assisted cellulose aerogel with switchable wettability as oil sorbent for oil spill cleanup. Sci Total Env 2024, 923, 171451. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.171451.
Research Highlights
SR-FTIR Informs Environmental Impacts of Fertilizer Use
March 3, 2024
Biochar is a form of charcoal - formed from pyrolysis of plant material. This carbon-rich material is a key player in soil health - benefiting both nutrient cycling and microorganisms. However, biochar breakdown processes - and its affinity to bind with environmental pollutants - make the long-term utilization of this fertilizer an environmental risk. Synchrotron FTIR analysis using the Bruker endstation analyzed surfaces of biochar, identifying functional group changes with typical uses of biochar and its interractions with pollutants. This study contributes to understanding the aging and contaminant distribution processes of biochar in the natural environment.Read the paper! Shen, Jian; Huang, Guohe; Yao, Yao; Zhang, Peng; Rosendahl, Scott. Surface Alteration on Biochar in Long-Term Application: Insights into Pyrolysis, Freeze-Thaw Aging, and Dissipation. Surf. Interfaces 2024, 104118. 10.1016/j.surfin.2024.104118.
Research Highlights
Imaging the Neurovascular Unit with FTIR
Feb. 14, 2024
Stroke is a large concern to the public health sector. This intricate review article advertises the use of infrared imaging conducted with the Agilent microscope at the Mid-IR beamline to identify key biomarkers of stroke within brain tissue. Researchers use FTIR imaging to analyze changes in brain tissue enabling a more holistic approach to characterizing pathophysiological responses - helping us understand the processes occuring in stroke incidence and identifying risk factors - in disease and disease models. A detailed description of machine learning with Orange/Quasar data analysis is presented to aid differentiation and characterization of tissue sections. Tissue preparation methods suitable for FTIR imaging analysis are also detailed.Read the paper!Boseley, R.E.; Sylvain, N.J.; Peeling, L.; Kelly, M.E.; Pushie, M.J. A review of concepts and methods for FTIR imaging of biomarker changes in the post-stroke brain. Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr 2024, 1866 (3), 184287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamem.2024.184287
Research Highlights
Synchrotron FTIR Reveals Nanoplastic Toxicity to Microalgae
Oct. 1, 2023
Synchrotron FTIR spectroscopy using the Bruker endstation at the Mid-IR beamline reveals changes in microalgal lipids and proteins indicating nanoplastic toxicity and risk assessment of emerging pollutants. Researchers conclude the mechanism of toxicity induced by nanoplastics to microalgae under multiple environmental conditions - contributing to emphasize the importance of ecological risk assessments and environmental management of nanoplastics.Read the paper!Sichen Gao, Gordon Huang, Peng Zhang, Xiaying Xin, Jianan Yin, Dengcheng Han, Scott Rosendahl, Stuart Read, Toxicity and mechanism of nanoplastics to phytoplankton in high-latitude aquatic ecosystems of Canadian prairie: Effects of multiple environmental factors. Sci. Total Environ 2023, 893, 164676. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.164676.
Research Highlights
FTIR Imaging Characterizes Secondary Protein Structures
June 1, 2023
Plant-based meat alternatives are increasingly in demand. Innovative strategies are required to provide consumers with appropriately textured and nutrient-dense protein sources. This study aims to increase the nutritional value of the food, reduce production costs, and improve the environmental footprint of plant-based meat analogues. Infrared imaging using the Agilent microscope at the Mid-IR beamline was used to analyze plant protein secondary structures. Orange/Quasar data analysis using K-means clustering was used to identify unique patterns in the data.This publication represents cross-beamline collaboration. The FTIR results complement synchrotron-based micro-computed tomography collected at BMIT.Read the paper!Dobson, S.; Stobbs, J.; Laredo, T.; Marangoni, A.G. A facile strategy for plant protein fiber formation without extrusion or shear processing. Innov Food Sci Emerg Technol 2023, 86, 103385. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ifset.2023.103385
Research Highlights
IR Imaging Coupled with AI Identifies Aging in Pipes
April 25, 2023
Learned representations of hyperspectral infrared images obtained at the Mid-IR beamline are used to extract physicochemical spectral markers of aging and cracking in cross-linked polyethylene pipes. Indicators of degredation were identified and learned by the model and applied to identify both unused and damaged pipes.These results will help pipe manufacturers optimize fabrication methods and improve stress-testing protocols, extending the use of their pipes into ever more vigorous and challenging operating environments. The study also highlights the use of representation learning via deep generative modeling to provide interpretable information from complicated data sets - unlocking new capabilities for hyperspectral IR imaging using the Agilent microscope at the Mid-IR beamline to solve complex problems across global sectors.Read the paper!Grossutti, M.; D’Amico, J.; Quintal, J.; MacFarlane, H.W.; Wareham, C.; Quirk, A.; Dutcher, J.R. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2023, 15 (18), 22532-22542. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.3c02564
Research Highlights
FTIR Analyzes Pea and Lentil Flour Processing Effects
Feb. 2, 2023
Pulse production is an integral pillar of the Canadian agricultural economy. Changes to the nutritional properties and protein structure of green lentil and yellow pea flour post-seed milling and processing are determined. The authors used the Agilent endstation at the Mid-IR beamline to examine pulse flours - reporting changes to protein structure and an improvement in starch digestibility with tempering and IR heating. Sample preparation used KBr pellets / flour mixtures.Read the paper!Laing, E.; Stone, A.K.; Shi, D.; Pickard, M.; House, J.D.; Wang, N.; Nickerson, M.T. Effect of infrared heating on the nutritional properties of yellow pea and green lentil flours. Cereal Chem 2023, 100, 614-627. https://doi.org/10.1002/cche.10653
Research Highlights
Dual comb IR spectroscopy for time resolved spectroscopy
Oct. 21, 2020
A dual infrared frequency comb spectrometer with heterodyne detection has been used to perform time-resolved electrochemical attenuated total reflectance surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy (ATR-SEIRAS). In collaboration with the Canadian Light Source and IRsweep, the desorption of a monolayer of a pyridine derivative with 10 μs time resolution and a detection limit of 5% of a monolayer was demonstrated. The applications of the method are potentially immense for the study of short lived adsorbed species during electrocatalysis. You can access the pre-print (https://harvest.usask.ca/handle/10388/12909) in the UofS open access repository.Analytical Chemistry.(https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.analchem.0c00260).
Research Highlights
Synchrotron FTIR spectromicroscopy as a tool for studying populations and individual living cells of green algae
Oct. 21, 2020
Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectromicroscopy was used to study individual living cells of three closely-related species of the green algal genus Chlamydomonas. Three types of spectral variation were observed between individual cells within a single culture, as well as between different cultures: variation around a mean, individual outliers, and the presence of subpopulations. By understanding and controlling this variation, we were able to spectroscopically differentiate between the three closely-related species. Spectral differences were confirmed using principal component analysis, leading to an understanding of the biochemical differences between species. This work highlights the additional information obtained by studying individual cells, and has implications for more traditional bulk measurements.Analyst, (https://doi.org/10.1039/D0AN01386B )
Research Highlights
We would love to celebrate your accomplishments!
Sept. 23, 2020
Yay data! Publishing research articles? Submitting a thesis? Attending conferences? Send us an email! Include a figure and summary of the work and we'll highlight it in our research news. Make sure you report your published works to the CLS, too!