Standard Article

Identification and Confirmation Algorithms for Handheld Spectrometers

Field-portable Instrumentation

  1. Craig Gardner,
  2. Robert L. Green

Published Online: 10 JAN 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9381

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Gardner, C. and Green, R. L. 2014. Identification and Confirmation Algorithms for Handheld Spectrometers. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. 1–18.

Author Information

  1. Thermo Scientific Portable Analytical Instruments Inc., Tewksbury, MA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 JAN 2014


Handheld analytical devices based on a gamut of technologies (e.g. infrared, Raman, X-ray fluorescence, and mass spectrometries) are now widely available. These tools have seen increasing adoption for field-based assessment by diverse users including military, emergency response, law enforcement, and regulated manufacturers. Frequently, end users of handheld devices are nonscientists who rely on embedded software and the associated algorithms to convert collected data into actionable information. Algorithms developed to identify or confirm the identity of material under test, therefore, need to process nonideal field data into a reliable answer. This article presents important algorithm concepts for material identification and confirmation. We discuss real-world data collection challenges and solutions for field-based measurements, types of algorithms designed to answer specific user questions, approaches for how to display analysis results to nonexperts, how to minimize computation time to satisfy typical users, and finally, performance characterization methods and results.