Industry News: HORIBA UK’s world-leading fluorescence spectrometer supports development of novel fluorophores

Northumbria University team hopes research will lead to more energy-efficient phone and TV screens

31 Jul 2021


HORIBA UK has announced the first UK installation of its Fluorolog-QM modular research-grade fluorescence spectrometer, the world’s highest-performance fluorescence analyzer.  

The spectrometer will form an integral part of research into novel fluorophores by Dr. Marc Etherington of Northumbria University. His team is opening up new scientific understanding of fluorophores in order to offer light-based solutions to real-world issues, including the development of new materials to reduce the energy consumption of household devices.

Dr. Etherington, a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering at Northumbria University, aims to use the chemistry behind the blue glow of tonic water to modify and improve other materials to become the next generation of efficient light-emitting compounds. These compounds can then be used to reduce the energy use of displays that are used in phones and TVs. 

HORIBA’s Fluorolog-QM spectrometer will be a key enabler of this work, providing a flexible spectroscopic platform for high-sensitivity fluorescence analysis and photoluminescence quantum yield measurements.  

Dr. Etherington said: “Most people associate science with a lab full of brightly coloured liquids and powders. I am personally interested in those that are bright, colourful and glow in the dark! The Fluorolog-QM will be the flagship for understanding why these glow and what colour they are in a measurable and quantifiable way. It will provide the crucial first step on a pathway to more efficient phone screens and displays. I’m looking forward to working closely with HORIBA scientists to harness the full power of the Fluorolog-QM for this research.” 

The Fluorolog-QM is the latest generation modular spectrofluorometer from HORIBA, built on many decades of experience. It layers innovation onto the historical excellence of the Fluorolog platform, resulting in the highest-performance fluorescence analyser in the world.

“It’s very exciting to see our first UK Fluorolog-QM helping to support research into next-generation displays that can help reduce power consumption.  Devices such as laptops, tablets and smart phones are growing in number every day, so it is vital that we do everything we can to minimise their environmental impact,” said Dr. Simon FitzGerald, Technical Manager at HORIBA UK.

 “The Fluorolog-QM is an ideal partner for Dr. Etherington in his research for improved display technology.  It has a unique optical design that ensures the highest possible sensitivity, suitable for analysing the very weakest fluorescence and characterising the most subtle of spectral changes.  As Dr. Etherington’s research progresses and forges new paths, so will the Fluorolog-QM be able to expand its capabilities,” added Dr. FitzGerald.

This installation is the latest of many by HORIBA UK over the last few months, with new deliveries across its wide portfolio of analytical and measurement systems. HORIBA has long and well-established collaborations with the academic community and supports scientific research, not only through its provision of high-performance technology, but also through partnership and support.

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