|A UT Arlington chemist's work to develop a more efficient, effective way of measuring ions in solution has led to a new device in the scientific marketplace that could improve water quality testing and manufacturing methods.
Purnendu "Sandy" Dasgupta invented the charge detector for ion chromatography, along with Bingcheng Yang, a member of his research group, and Kannan Srinivasan, technical director for Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. The U.S. Patent office recently assigned a patent for the new technology to the UT System Board of Regents and Dionex Corporation, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif. Thermo Fisher is Dionex's parent company.
"The fact that ions carry a charge has been known since before the 20th Century began. For the first time, we can now measure that charge in a solution," said Dasgupta, the Jenkins Garrett Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the UT Arlington College of Science. "This gives you a possibility that didn't exist before. It gives you new information that couldn't be accessed before."
The components that make up organic and inorganic compounds carry differing levels of charged ions. Phosphate, for example, is triple-charged, while chloride is singly charged. The new charge detector uses a membrane-based separation or desalting technology that detects ions in proportion to their charge and concentration. Because a single standard can be used to determine known and unknown compounds, frequent recalibration of the machine is not needed and efficiency is increased.
The patented method has been incorporated in the new Thermo Scientific Dionex QD, a product Thermo Fisher Scientific debuted in March. The machine combines charge detection with conductivity detection, the traditional method for measuring ions, to greatly improve performance.
"We are particularly proud of the fact that Dr. Dasgupta's innovation has made