Aperennial pre-and post-Pittcon theme is how well the conference is doing. Especially in these days of web-based marketing, the concern on everybody's mind is whether large shows like Pittcon are still viable. We can only go by the attendance figures. The final total attendance was 17,199, up slightly from 16,876 in 2010 (both numbers are from the Pittcon website).
There also appeared to be an increased presence of companies manufacturing spectrometers and related equipment. My own unscientific assessment of this is based on the number of business cards I obtain when I visit the booths of vendors of spectroscopy-related equipment. In 2009, the stack I collected measured 1.75-in. thick, my 2010 stack was 1.5-in. thick, and this year it was a whopping 2.5-in. thick. I don't think the increased number of cards was a result of increased diligence on my part, so I conclude that there must have been more spectroscopy companies present, even more relative to the total number of companies. There were certainly new exhibitors this year, a number of which were under a large sign saying "new exhibitors." Of course, not all the new exhibitors were spectroscopy firms, but neither were all the new spectroscopy-related companies under that sign; they were well-scattered throughout the exhibit hall.
As usual, this listing of new spectroscopy products introduced at Pittcon indicates whether a given instrument is for the laboratory (that is, fixed location), portable, or field deploy-able (that is, handheld). In some cases, especially for portable instruments, we also include their size or weight, to give the reader a more precise idea of just how portable a unit is.
Indeed, the trends toward decreasing instrument size and the increasing presence of smaller instruments continue. The need for such instruments seems unlikely to abate. Although most of the usual categories were represented again this year, one category that disappeared from last year is "First Responded." There weren't enough dedicated units directed at that market to warrant a separate category, so I listed any such units under their spectroscopy type (mid-IR, Raman, and so forth). Of course, many of the portable or handheld instruments might be useful for first responders.
A number of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) manufacturers were represented, in contrast to last year's single manufacturer. On the other hand, this is the first Pittcon that I've covered for Spectroscopy where I found a company exhibiting an electron spin resonance (ESR) spectrometer.
As usual, I organized this review according to the wavelength region and type of spectroscopy involved. I tried to arrange it to allow readers to more easily compare instruments from different manufacturers. The categories used (in alphabetical order) are
X-ray (which includes all shorter-wavelength methods)
Some categories (accessories, components, imaging, and software) include products that also might arguably be classified under another categories. For example, a Raman imaging spectrometer might be found under "Raman" or under "Imaging." I try to be consistent,...
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