New QCL chemical imaging system from Agilent

Photo of the instrument and computer screen with image.

Agilent’s 8700 Laser Direct Infrared (LDIR) chemical imaging system.

Agilent’s 8700 Laser Direct Infrared (LDIR) chemical imaging system combines quantum cascade laser (QCL) technology with rapid scanning optics and intuitive Agilent Clarity software. Unlike other QCL imaging systems that use 2D focal plane array (FPA) detectors, the 8700 LDIR employs a single-element electrically cooled detector to eliminate laser coherence artefacts from images and spectra. It has the ability to survey and image large sample areas and then interrogate smaller areas of interest in more detail without changing any optics. The field of view can be changed from microns to centimetres or the pixel size from 1 µm to 40 µm. ATR imaging data can be acquired with a pixel size down to 0.1 μm, and unknowns can be identified using either commercial or custom libraries from the ATR spectra. The 8700 LDIR works in either reflectance or ATR mode, automatically switching between these two modes by directing the incident beam to the appropriate objective.

The movement of the sample relative to the beam is fully automated, this process yields a high-quality two-dimensional molecular image in a short time. The 8700 LDIR has two visible channels: a large field of view camera to obtain an entire view of the sample and a microscope grade objective to capture high magnification detail. No requirement for liquid nitrogen reduces operating costs and simplifies maintenance, whilst the instrument’s small footprint saves laboratory bench space.