Bookmark and Share
Standardization News Search
ASTM Committee E13 on Molecular Spectroscopy

Official Practices for Molecular Spectroscopy and Chromatography Measurements

by Jerome (Jerry) Workman, Jr.

The standards developed by Committee E13 on Molecular Spectroscopy may well benefit you in ways you don’t realize. Committee E13 Chairman Jerome Workman tells you how… and why you may want to become involved.

Are you interested in spectroscopy and/or chromatography? Do you ever find yourself in need of an analytical practice or method where you may have to defend your results to a regulatory agency or even in court litigation? After talking to different instrument vendors, are you confused at how to approach an analytical problem? Do the new calibration and chemometric approaches, and advanced software available with many instruments confuse you? Do you ever wonder what is the best way to use all the accessories that come with your instruments? Is terminology used by different types of spectroscopists and chromatographers non-standard, and does it leave you wondering what you should really call that device or approach? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then becoming involved in ASTM Committee E13 is probably a useful activity for you.

Official practices and procedures for molecular spectroscopy and chromatography methods and practices are made available through the volunteer efforts of committee members active in the E13 main committee. Specifically, ASTM E13 has a mission to facilitate the advancement of the field of molecular spectroscopy involving absorption, luminescence, scattering, or polarization of radiant energy; nuclear magnetic resonance; and the advancement of the field of chromatography. The committee achieves this by promoting exchange of information, sponsoring meetings and symposia for presentation of papers, standardizing terminology, and coordinating and formulating scientific practices and methods of analysis. The work of this committee is coordinated with other ASTM committees and other organizations having mutual interest.

ASTM Committee E13 was formed in 1950. Its members meet twice a year, usually in March (at the Pittsburgh Conference), and October (at the Eastern Analytical Symposium or the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies meeting). The committee consists of 155 members, with approximately 35 regularly active members attending three days of technical meetings. The committee has jurisdiction over 30 standards, published in Volume 03.06 of the Annual Book of ASTM Standards. These standards have and continue to play a preeminent role in techniques for ultra-violet and visible spectroscopy, infrared and near-infrared spectroscopy, molecular luminescence, nuclear magnetic resonance, Raman, chemometrics and optical fibers and photometry. The development of many practices involved several years of debate and reballoting; this being quite common in years past. However, recent E13 subcommittees and task groups have been extremely efficient in drafting, balloting, and providing published documents.

E13 Main Committee on Molecular Spectroscopy and Chromatography

A list of the current documents maintained by the E13 committee are provided as sidebars at the bottom of this text. A quick review of this list indicates that methods and practices important to most analytical chemists are covered. In 2000, E13 absorbed disbanded Committee E19 on Chromatography as a subcommittee (E13.19). In the year 2001, the E19 standards will be integrated with the E13 standards in Volume 03.06.

For E13, the officers include the list below. Please feel free to e-mail these individuals with questions or concerns related to the issues discussed within this article.

Jerome (Jerry) Workman, chair
Concetta Paralusz, vice-chair
James Reeves, recording secretary
Karen Cain, membership secretary
Gloria Collins, ASTM staff manager
James Brown, member at large
Robert Williams, member at large
John Hellgeth, member at large

The E13 Committee on Molecular Spectroscopy and Chromatography is subdivided into the following subcommittees with their respective chairs, and e-mail addresses:

• E13.01—Ultraviolet and Visible Spectroscopy, John Travis
• E13.02—Liaison and Communication, Roy Cain
• E13.03—Infrared Spectroscopy, Richard Larsen
• E13.04—Nomenclature, Clark Dehne
• E13.06—Luminescence and Fluorescence, Gabor Patonay
• E13.07—Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Gwen Chmurny
• E13.08—Raman Spectroscopy, Mike Carrabba
• E 13.09—Fiber Optics, Tuan Vo-Dinh
• E 13.11—Chemometrics, Ed Stark
• E 13.19—Chromatography, John Hinshaw
• E 13.90—Executive Subcommittee, Jerry Workman
• E 13.92—Long Range Planning, Clara Craver
• E 13.95—Awards Program, Herbert Hoover

Other E13 members who have volunteered to share information with you include Delyle Eastwood, and Richard Kramer.

The greater the participation, the more relevant and useful will be the standards written by ASTM. Specifically ASTM E13 is responsible for all official practices and methods pertaining to the use and testing of spectrometers and chromatographic instrumentation and corresponding software. We feel it is very important that the ASTM standards committees have broad representation from government labs, industry users, and manufacturers. We hope you will recognize the importance of having your viewpoints and concerns reflected in the standards we produce. ASTM meetings are open to anyone and we encourage your attendance to promote lively and germane discussions on the topics we address. Please contact the people listed in this article for more information. //


Permission to reprint portions of this paper was obtained from Spectroscopy 15(9) Sept. 2000, pp. 16-18, Advanstar Communications Inc., Cleveland, Ohio 44130.


Current Documents and Topics Under E13 Jurisdiction

UV-Vis-NIR Photometry and Spectroscopy:

E 387, Estimating Stray Radiant Power Ratio of Spectrophotometers by the Opaque Filter Method
E 925, Periodic Calibration of Narrow Band-Pass Spectrophotometers
E 958, Measuring Practical Spectral Bandwidth of Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometers
E 169, General techniques of Ultraviolet-Visible Quantitative Analysis
E 275, Describing and Measuring Performance of Ultraviolet, Visible, and Near-Infrared Spectrophotometers

Fluorescence and Luminescence:

E 579, Limit of Detection of Fluorescence of Quinine Sulfate
E 578, Linearity of Fluorescence Measuring Systems
E 388, Spectral Bandwidth and Wavelength Accuracy of Fluorescence Spectrometers

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy:

E 386, Data Presentation Relating to High-Resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy

Infrared and Near Infrared Spectroscopy:

E 1944, Describing and Measuring Performance of Laboratory Fourier Transform Near-Infrared (FT-NIR) Spectrometers: Level Zero and Level One Tests
E 932, Describing and Measuring Performance of Dispersive Infrared Spectrometers
E 1421, Describing and Measuring Performance of Laboratory Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectrometers: Level Zero and Level One Tests
E 1642, General Techniques of Gas Chromatography Infrared (GC/IR) Analysis
E 204, Using the ASTM Coded Band and Chemical Classification Index for Identification of Material by Infrared Absorption Spectroscopy
E 334, General Techniques of Infrared Microanalysis
E 168, General Techniques of Infrared Quantitative Analysis
E 573, Internal Reflection Spectroscopy
E 1791, Transfer Standards for Reflectance Factor for Near-Infrared Instruments Using Hemispherical Geometry
E 1865, Open-Path Fourier Transform Infrared (OP/FF-IR) Monitoring of Gases and Vapors in Air

Raman Spectrometry

E 1683, Testing the Performance of Scanning Raman Spectrometers
E 1654, Measuring Ionizing Radiation Induced Spectral Changes in Optical Fibers and Cables for Use in Remote Raman Fiber-Optic Spectroscopy
E 1840, Raman Shift Standards for Spectrometer Calibration


E 1655, Infrared, Multivariate, Quantitative Analysis
E 1790, Near-Infrared Qualitative Analysis
E 1252, General Techniques for Obtaining Infrared Spectra for Qualitative Analysis

Fiber Optics and Optical Waveguides:

E 1653, Specifying Dynamic Characteristics of Optical Radiation Transmitting Fiber Waveguides
E 1866, Establishing Spectrophotometer Performance Tests
E 1614, Procedure for Measuring Ionizing Radiation Induced Attenuation in Silica-Based Optical Fibers and Cables for Use in Remote Fiber-Optic Spectroscopy and Broadband Systems

Terminology and Molecular Spectroscopy:

E 131, Molecular Spectroscopy
E 924, Quality Assurance of Laboratories Using Molecular Spectroscopy
E 250, Use of CODEN

Current Documents and Topics Under E13.19 Chromatography Jurisdiction


E 355, Practice for Chromatography Terms and Relationships
E 682, Practice for Liquid Chromatography Terms and Relationships

Gas Chromatography:

E 260, Practice for Packed Column Gas Chromatography
E 516, Practices for Testing Thermal Conductivity Detectors used in Gas Chromatography
E 594, Practice for Testing Flame Ionization Detectors used in Gas Chromatography or Supercritical Fluid Chromatography
E 697, Practice for Use of Electron-Capture Detectors in Gas Chromatography
E 840, Practice for Using Flame Photometric Detectors in Gas Chromatography
E 1140, Practice for Testing Nitrogen/Phosphorus Thermionic Ionization Detectors for Use in Gas Chromatography
E 1510, Practice for Installing Fused Silica Open Tubular Capillary Columns in Gas Chromatography
E 1698, Practice for Testing Electrolytic Conductivity Detectors (ELCD) used in Gas Chromatography
New Standard, Practice for Use of Automated Static Equilibrium Headspace Sampling for Analysis of Volatiles by Gas Chromatography

Liquid Chromatography:

E 685, Practice for Testing Fixed-Wavelength Photometric Detectors Used in Liquid Chromatography
E 1303, Practice for Refractive Index Detectors Used in Liquid Chromatography
E 1657, Practice for Testing Variable-Wavelength Photometric Detectors used in Liquid Chromatography

Ion Chromatography:

E 1151, Practice for Ion Chromatography Terms and Relationships
E 1511, Practice for Testing Conductivity Detectors used in Liquid and Ion Chromatography

Supercritical Fluid Chromatography:

E 1449, Guide for Supercritical Fluid Chromatography Terms and Relationships
E 1747, Practice for Purity of Carbon Dioxide used in Supercritical Fluid Applications

Copyright 2001, ASTM

Jerome (Jerry) Workman, Jr. is a research fellow for Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Wisconsin, and chairman of E13. During his career, Workman has focused on molecular spectroscopy; near infrared, infrared, UV-visible, and Raman spectroscopy; process analysis; and chemometrics. He has published six books and more than 200 papers.