improve repeatability and increased utilization of equipment. There are numerous examples of applications and vendors of combinatorial testing and synthesis; these are not reviewed here.

The second area is in information and knowledge management. Combinatorial methods produce large amounts of data. Managing the data and extracting useful information and knowledge from it has been made feasible through advances in computing technology. Even without the use of combinatorial methods, good information and knowledge management is valuable. Information provides value over time. Previous analyses can help with current problems, and historical information can help with the design of new materials and products. Making this information available in a usable and timely manner is an important benefit of a wired laboratory.

The third area is that of generating and maintaining data in electronic (digital) form. While this may seem like an obvious requirement for modern information management, it is a valuable first step on its own. Having data in electronic form greatly reduces the barriers to its use. Much of the time involved in applying modeling and chemometrics—the analysis of analytical data to extract more information—is consumed in collating and formatting data. Simply collecting and saving the data in electronic form allows more time to be devoted to developing more sophisticated calculations.

The fourth area is data analysis and chemometrics. One of the general efficiency trade-offs in routine analytical measurements is between sample preparation and data analysis and interpretation. Analytical techniques requiring less sample preparation often produce larger, more complicated data sets that increase interpretation time. The phenomenal increases in computing power and capacity have helped to reduce that time. In addition, the chemometrics techniques available today yield information not otherwise obtainable. The direct exponential curve resolution algorithm (DECRA) for separating mixture spectra is an example.1

Examples From a Wired Laboratory

Quantum—Model of an Integrated Spectroscopy Information System

In the late 1970s, the molecular spectroscopy laboratory at Kodak began to utilize computing technology to improve the efficiency and quality of structure elucidation using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and infrared (IR), mass (MS), and ultraviolet and visible (UV/Vis) spectroscopy data. The ultimate aim was to automate the analysis of routine samples completely. At that time, our expert spectroscopists would receive a number of difficult analysis problems, but would also receive many samples that were routine characterization problems. For example, did the chemist successfully synthesize the material he wanted? We recognized that we could use computers and information systems to make our operation more efficient by automating routine analyses and by providing tools to aid with difficult analyses.

The components of the system that resulted from this project are illustrated in Figure 11.1. The complete system, called QUANTUM, combines spectral and structural analysis software with a sample management system (SoftLog) and a spectral database (SDM).

Historically, the system began with the research and development of analysis tools. As John Pople mentioned earlier, in Order to test our success, we needed to have data. Reference spectra associated with chemical structures were needed to develop and test analysis software for predicting spectra, given the structure, or the structure, given a spectrum. Databases of literature spectra were purchased and put into the system, but they were not adequate. The majority of compounds made at Kodak have never

1  

Willem Windig and Brian Antalek, Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems 37, 241-254 (1997).



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