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Engineering Receives New Research Tool Offering Enhanced Analysis Versatility

University of Miami (UM) students and researchers will have more effective opportunities for chemical analysis thanks to a loan from Shimadzu Corp. The advance includes both an Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (EDX) and a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer (FTIR), which allows students and researchers to analyze and identify chemical oxides and compounds with state-of-the-art equipment.

The industry leading equipment is housed in the laboratory of Prannoy Suraneni (ACCESS Lab), assistant professor in the College of Engineering’s (CoE) Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAE). Suraneni aims to use this instrument to better study a range of chemistry-related properties of cementitious materials.

“With this new equipment, UM students and researchers will study and collaborate with other students and research associates across campus.” he explained. “The CoE, in particular, emphasizes hands-on experiential learning, and this instrument will greatly enhance such learning.”

The EDX detects fluorescent X-rays emitted by each element in a sample. These X-rays can be used to quantify the chemical composition of samples in a variety of conditions including solid, liquid, and powdered form, and is especially useful for metal and ceramic samples. The FTIR is a technique used to obtain an infrared spectrum of absorption or emission. The results can be used to determine unknown organic (and sometimes inorganic) materials in emission of a solid, liquid or gas samples.

Suraneni said essentially all UM students and researchers will have opportunities to use this new technology, and he hopes that this will be a valuable research tool for faculty members.

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