Analytik reports on the use of a Schmidt Haensch polarimeter for research at Leeds University.
Polarimetry is regarded as a standard analytical characterisation technique. It measures the polarisation of transverse waves, most notably electromagnetic waves, such as radio or light waves.
The Leeds Schmidt Haensch Polartronic H532 Polarimeter is primarily used for the characterisation of chiral molecules that have been synthesised in the School of Chemistry at Leeds University.
This is either for confirmation of specific rotation of a previously reported molecule, or for the completion of the characterisation of a novel molecule to appropriate scientific rigour.
For example, some researchers are involved in the synthesis of unnatural amino acids, where it is essential that enantiopurity is established before further experimentation is done - where specific rotations are cornerstone in confirming chiral purity of synthesised molecules.
The previous school polarimeter had been in use for many years. Its resolution had become inferior and the instrument had become unreliable in terms of measurement accuracy and reproducibility so the decision was made to replace it.
Speaking about the reasons behind choosing the Schmidt Haensch polarimeter, Professor Wilson said: “The benefit of the S&H polarimeter is the precision of the instrument which can resolve and stabilise rotations to four decimal places rapidly and consistently.
“The specific rotation calculation is also a useful feature that has been well used by members of the department. Researchers within the school who have been using the polarimeter are pleased with its performance and simplicity.”
Schmidt Haensch have pioneered the technology behind polarimetry and refractometry. They now hold several key patents, enabling them to produce opto-electronic measuring instruments of the highest quality and accuracy.
Their automatic digital polarimeters are designed to characterise optical active substances in the most demanding quality control and research laboratories.