Abstract

Until very recently, handheld spectrometers were the domain of major analytical and security instrument companies, with turnkey analyzers using spectroscopic techniques from X-ray fluorescence (XRF) for elemental analysis (metals), to Raman, mid-infrared, and near-infrared (NIR) for molecular analysis (mostly organics). However, the past few years have seen rapid changes in this landscape with the introduction of handheld laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), smartphone spectroscopy focusing on medical diagnostics for low-resource areas, commercial engines that a variety of companies can build up into products, hyphenated or dual technology instruments, low-cost visible-shortwave NIR instruments selling directly to the public, and, most recently, portable hyperspectral imaging instruments. Successful handheld instruments are designed to give answers to non-scientist operators; therefore, their developers have put extensive resources into reliable identification algorithms, spectroscopic libraries or databases, and qualitative and quantitative calibrations. As spectroscopic instruments become smaller and lower cost, “engines” have emerged, leading to the possibility of being incorporated in consumer devices and smart appliances, part of the Internet of Things (IOT). This review outlines the technologies used in portable spectroscopy, discusses their applications, both qualitative and quantitative, and how instrument developers and vendors have approached giving actionable answers to non-scientists. It outlines concerns on crowdsourced data, especially for heterogeneous samples, and finally looks towards the future in areas like IOT, emerging technologies for instruments, and portable hyphenated and hyperspectral instruments.

© 2018 The Author(s)

PDF Article

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription