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I Advisory Panel

Jonathan W. Amy Donald R. Johnson Harry L. Pardue


INSTRUMENTATION I
Jack W. Frazer Charles E. Klopfenstein Ralph E. Thiers
G. Phillip Hicks Marvin Margoshes William F. Ulrich

Data Domains-An Analysis of Digital and Analog


Instrumentation Systems and Components
Data domains concepts offer a means of effectively utilizing new electronic devices
which requires only an understanding of basic measurement processes. These con-
cepts can be used t o great advantage in designing or modifying systems and in as-
sessing and minimizing the sources of measurement errors.

C. G. ENKE the output accuracy. Also, many digi- ( 2 ) As the data proceed through the
tized measurement systems, while pro- instrument, a change in the character-
Department of Chemistry,
Michigan State University, viding excellent accuracy and conve- istic or property used to represent the
E. Lansing, Mich. 48823 nience, are unnecessarily complicated. measured data is called a data domain
conversion.
be-
CIESTIFIC I S S T R U M E N T A T I O N IS Data Domains Concepts (3) All electronic measurement sys-
ing revolutionized by the availabil- tems can be described as a sequence
ity of an ever-increasing array of elec- The convenience and power of the of two or more data domain converters,
tronic devices which increase measure- amazing new electronic devices are each of which can be analyzed sepa-
ment speed, accuracy, and convenience irresistible t o almost all scientists, but rately.
while decrensing instrument size and few are in a position to understand ( 4 ) llethods of using electrical sig-
power requirements. Integrated cir- these new tools in detail. A4means of nals to represent measurement data
cuits and hybrid circuits have made applying new devices efficiently and in11 into three major categories or do-
many measurement techniques, n-hich effectively, which requires only an un- mains: analog, time, and digital.
were previously only theoretically possi- derstanding of the liasic measurement Since there are only three data do-
ble, a reality. The continual decrease in concepts, is needed for most. The datn mains for electrical signals, the elec-
the cost of digital and linear circuits has domains concepts described here are tronic sections of complex measure-
made many sophisticated devices such very useful in analyzing, describing, ment systems can be easily analyzed
as frequency meters, digital pH meters, modifying, and designing analog, digi- (or designed) as combinations of only
signal averngers, and minicomputers tal, :ind analogldigital measurement a few basic interdomain converters.
practical for most laboratories. As systems and devices and in assessing =Ilso the hundreds of data handling
electronic technology continues to ad- and minimizing the sources of measure- devices available can be shown to be
vance, we can expect more and more of ment errors ( 1 ) . I n addition, a much simply various methods of accomplish-
the sampling, control, and dnta analy- better understanding of the instru- ing the basic interdomain conversions.
,?is of scientific measurements to be per- mental data handling process is gained
formed b>-the instrument itself. as :I result of the study and application
Electronics-Aided Measurement
Digitnl instrumcntation has been the of the data domains concept. The first,
.scene of milch development and interest four concepts of datn domains analysis In an electronics-aided measurement,
liecause of its inherent accuracy capa- are given below: the quantity to be measured is con-
hilit!., convenient numerical output, and (1) Measurement data are repre- verted into an electrical signal and then
potential digital computer compati- sented in an instrument a t any instant amplified or otherwise modified to op-
bility. However, just digitizing a n by n physical quantity, n chemical erate a device which visually displays
instrument does not insure these ad- quantity, or some property of an elec- the value of the measured quantity.
vnnt:iges. There are literally hundreds trical signal. The characteristics or This process is illustrated for a typical
of datn handling and digitizing devices properties used to represent the mea- case in the block diagram of Figure 1.
available today and an unwise com- surement data can be categorized in An input transducer such as a photo-
bination of units can actually degrade groups called data domains. detector, thermistor, glass p H electrode,

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, VOL. 43, NO. 1, JANUARY 1971 69A


Instrumentation

H
-- 1
PHY5K4L of?
CHEMICAL
QUANTITY
TRANSDUCER
INpur
EL ECTkiCAL
SIGNAL
MODIFIER
- ANALOG- ro-
DIGITAL
CONVRE<
- D/GKAL
DA7.A-
P@CESS/NG
-
I
D/G/TAL
mrwr
(NUM BE K)
L

Figure 2. Basic digital electronic measurement

or strain gage is used to convert the vantages of various digitizing or inter- electronic logic circuits of the type de-
quantity t o be measured int,o a n elec- facing possibilities. veloped for digital computers. As will
trical signal. The current or voltage Digital dfeasurement. -4 common be s h o m later, it is common for mea-
amplitude of this signal is related in form of digital measurement system is surement data to be represented by a
some known way to the quant,ity to be shown in block form in Figure 2. At binary-level electronic signal and still
measured. The electrical signal from some point after the measurement data not be digitized or numerical. There-
the input transducer is then modified h a w been converted into electrical fore, in this paper, a digital instru-
by an electronic circuit to make it suit- amplitiides, an analog-to-digital con- ment will be defined as one that, uses
able to operate a readout, device. The verter is wed (a). This is an elec- :I digital electronic signal to represent
electronic circuit is most frequently an tronic circuit which converts an analog the measurement data somewhere
amplifier with the appropriate adjust,- electronic signal (where the measure- within the instrument. The analysis
able parameters (zero, standardizat,ion, ment data are reprcscnted by the signal :ind design of digital measurement sys-
position, etc.) and sometimes with auto- amplitude) to n digital electronic sig- tems necessarily involves an under-
matic compensation for nonlinearities, nal (n-liicli represents integer numbers standing of the ways electrical signals
temperature variation, etc. of the trans- iinainbiguously by coded binary-level can represent, data and how conversions
ducer. The output is a readout device signal.). If the digitization n-as pcr- from one form to another are accom-
from which a number can be obtained, formed to take advantage of the great plished.
generally by observing the position of accuracy, power, and versatility of digi-
R marker against a numbered scale. tal data processing, that will be done Electronic Data Domains
Using the data domains concepts, the next. Finnlly, the numerical binary-
basic electronic measurement of Figure level signal is decoded into a number There are only three basic ways by
1 is described as follo~vs: The measure- nhich is diaplnyed, printed, andl or which measurement data are repre-
ment data exist first as the physical piinched. sented by an electrical signal: Analog,
or chemical quantity to be measured. Becawe so many :idvantages are symbolized E,4, in which the amplitude
At the output of the input, transducer, claimed for digital techniques, many of the signal current or voltage is re-
the measurement data are represented techniques have claimed to be digital. Inted to the data; time, in which
by an electrical signal and are thus in I n fact, any t j y e of device which has the time relationsliip hetn-een signal-
one of the three electrical domains. din1 settings or outputs which are levcl changes is related to the measure-
The input transdueer is thus a device niimerals in a roTv is likely t o be called ment data: and digital, E,, in which
which converts quantities or translates digital. By that, standnrd a decade :in integer number is represented by
information from a physical or chemical resistancc bos is a digital instrument. binary-level signals. The characteristic
domain into an electrical domain. The Since the end result of any measure- signals in each of these domains and
measurement data remain in an elec- ment is a number, all instruments cxiinple. of their use are described in
trical domain through the electrical sig- could be callrd digital, biit the meaning this section.
nal modifier. However, the output de- of the word in t h a t wnse becomes EA4.The measurement, data
dA~in/ogt
vice converts the electrical signal into trivi:il, Some confine the iise of the in this domain are represented by the
some readable form such as the rela- word< digital instrument to those mngnitiidc of a voltnge or a current.
tive positions of a marker and a scale- instruments which contain linary-level The analog domain signal is continu-
i.e., a nonelectrical domain. Thus the oiisly variable in amplitude. A i l ~ othe
,
entire measurement can be described in analog :implitude can be measured con-
terms of conversions b e h e e n domains tinuousl!- with time or at any instant in
and modifications within domains. timc. Most input transducers used to-
I n the basic electronic measurement, t h y convert the rnenm-ement dnt:i from
a t least two converters are required; thc phypical and chemical domains ( P )
one to transfer into an electrical do- to the E.t domain. Esamples of P-to-
main and one to transfer out. The E , converters are: photodetectors
characteristics of each interdomain con- nliich convert, light intensity to nn elec-
verter and each signal modifier affect trical ciirrent, a thermistor bridge
the quality of the measurement. To which converts temperature differcnce
take advantage of special input trans- to :in electrical potential, n cornbina-
ducers, particular readouts, and avail- tion p H rlcctrodc which converts solii-
able signal processing techniques, an tion ncidity into an electricnl potentid,
instrument may involve many data and a flame ionization detector which
domain conversions and signal modi- convrrts the concentration of ioniznble
fiers. The data domains concept allows moleciilw in n gas into an electrical
ench step to be blocked out and ana- current. Figure 3 shows some typical
lyzed separately. This will be shown -TME, MVELENGT$ FELD SRENGT? E X : -C

to be particularly desirable in assessing - i t each inqtant in time, the measured


sources of errors and the relative ad- Figure 3. Analog (EA) domain signals qiinntity is represented by a signal

70A ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, VOL. 43, NO. 1, JANUARY 1971


Instrumentation

amplitude. The variations in the sig- signal t o any other domain is one
nal amplitude may be plotted against period or one pulse width.
time, wavelength, magnet'ic field Digital, E,. I n the digital domain,
strength, temperature, or other experi- the measurement dat,a are contained
mental parameters as shown in Figure in a %level signal (HI/LO, 1 / U , etc.)
3. From such plots, addit'ional infor- wliicli is coded to represent a specific
mation can often be obt,ained from a integer (or character) (3). The digital
correlation of amplitudes measured a t signal may be a coded series of pulses
different times. Such information in one channel (serial form) or a coded
viould include simple observations like set of signals on simultaneous multiple
peak height, peak position, number of channels (parallel form). Represen-
peaks, or more complex correlations tative digital signal waveforms are
such as peak area, peak separation, TIME L shown in Figure 5. The count' serial
signal averaging, and Fourier trans- Figure 4. Time (Eat)domain signals waveform ( a ) is a series of pulses with
formation. The techniques of correlat- a clearly defined beginning and end.
ing data taken s t different times must Tlie number represented is the number
be distinguished from the techniques nificant tinie relationship is measured. of pulses in the series. The count serial
of converting t,he data taken at each Tliis is accomplished by a comparator waveform of Figure 5 might represent,
instant, into a usable form. I t is the or Scjlmitt trigger circuit, Examples for instance, the number of photons
latter problem that this paper is pri- of converters producing EAt domain of n particular energy detected dur-
marily concerned with. The former signals from physical domain quantities ing n singlc spark excitation. The
problem is handled b y datn processing are: a crystal oscillator that produces count serial form is simple but not
techniques, once the required instmi- a temperature-dependent. frequency be- very efficient. T o provide a resolution
taneous data points have been con- cause of the temperature characteristics of one part per thousand, the time re-
verted t o a useful form and stored. of the quartz crystal, an oscillator quired for at least one thousand pulses
Signals in the EB domain are sus- which lias an output frequency de- t o occur must, be allowed for each
ceptible to electrical noise sources con- pendent upon the value of the capaci- series of piilscs.
tained within or induced upon the cir- tance used in the oscillator circuit, and The most efficient serial digital signal
cuits and connections. The resulting the Geiger tube ivhich converts level is tlie binary-coded serial signal 21iown
signal amplitude a t any instant is the of radioactivity to a pulsc repetition in Figure 5b. I n this signal, each pulse
sum of t h e data signals and the noise mte. An example of a Ea-to-E,t do- timc in tlic series represents a different
-ignals. main converter is a voltage-controlled- hit poqition in a binary number. The
T h e , E A t . I n this domain, the mea- oscillator or voltage-to-frequency con- appcnrnnce of a pulse at a time position
siirement data are contained in the verter which provides an output fre- indicates a 1 ; tlie absence of a pulse,
time relationship of signal variations, quency related to an input voltage. a 0. The data are not represented by
not the amplitude of the variations. The E S t domain signal, like the E , t h c exact time of the pulse as in the
Tj.pical EAt domain signals are shoivn domain signal, is continuously variable EAt domain, but by the signal logic
in Figiire 4. Tlie most common E A t since the frequency or pulse width can Icvcl prc5cnt within a given time range.
dom:iin signnls represent, the data R S be varied infinitesimally. However, the The hinary number represented by the
the frequency of a periodic waveform EAt signal variable cannot be measured n-awform rho!!-n is 101101011 which is
( a ) , the time duration of a pnlse ( b ) , continuously with time or at any in- dccim:il 363. ,4 series of n pulse times
or 3.q the time or average rate of stant in time. The minimum time re- resolution of one part in 2". Thus
11111scs ( c ) . T h e arc logic-h-el sig- quired for conversion of an EAt domain a 10-bit Perk. has a resolution of one
nals--i.e., their signal amplitude is
either in tlic HI or 1 logic-level region
or thc LO or 0 logic-level region. The
data are contained in the time relation-
ship between the logic-level transitions.
The greater the slope ( d E / d t ) of the
signa 1 through the logic-level threshold
region, the more precisely the transi- 7 B/NARY- COD?DS E Q / !
tion time can be defined. Because the
data in an E,, domain signal are less (6) ??=/8/
I I '
amplitude-dependent than in an E A
domain signal, thry are less affected by
electrical noise sources. A common ex-
ample of this is the FM radio signal
- 5/NA<%COD&D UFC/#AL
(EA?domain) vs. the more noise sus- (CI I ' SERIAL Z = 697
ceptible -411 radio signal ( E A domain).
The greater the difference between the
average 0 or 1 signal-level ampli-
tude and the logic-level threshold, the
less susceptible the signal will be to
noise-induced error. I n these respects, n = 2/0
the signal shown in Figure 4b is better
than those of Figures 4a and 4c. The 04' ASCII CffAQACTEq Q
logic-level transitions of signals like
Figures 4a and 4c are generally sharp-
128 64 32 16 48 4 2 1
ened to those like 4b before the sjg- Figure 5 . Serial and parallel digital signals

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, VOL. 43, NO, 1, JANUARY 1971 71 A


number is then obtained by reading
the position of the pointer against the
calibrated scale. The signal path on
the data domains map for the pH me-
NOff-EUCTR/aL ter is also shown in Figure 7 . Note
that there are two instrumental inter-
domain conversions, one intradomain
conversion, and one manual interdo-
ELECTi/CAL main conversion. It will be shown later
that interdomain conversions are more
complex and error-prone than intra-
domain conversions. Recording and
servodigital pH meters have essen-
tially the same block diagram and do-
mains path except that the servo sys-
tem can be used to convert the EA volt-
age signal from the combination elec-
trode directly into the pen position in
At the case of the recorder or the position
Figure 6. Data domains map of the turns-counting dial (a rotnr\r
Y

scale) in the case of t,he servodigital


metcr. Notice that even in the latter
case the data are never in the digital
part in 210 = 1024,,, and a 20-bit, ment system. When analyzing an in- domain.
series has a resolution of better than strument it is helpful to use the data Digital pH Meter. .4 digital pH
one part per niillion. domains map shown in Figure 6. The meter (Figure 8) differs from an ordi-
The binary-coded decimal serial form path of the signal can be traced out on nary pH meter in that the meter is
is somewhat less efficient but very con- the map as it is followed through the replaced by an analog-to-digital (.4/D)
venient where a decimal numerical out- instrument. This process will be illus- converter and a digital display. ,4 fre-
put is desired. Each group of four bits trated for several chemical instruments quently used A/D converter for this ap-
represents one decimal digit in a num- of various types. plication is the dual slope converter.
ber. Twvelve bits can thus represent p H Meter. The block diagram of a .4s is often the case, this .4/D convert,er
three decimnl digits and provide one conventional pH meter is shown in does not convert directly from the EA t o
part, in one thousand resolution. Figure 7 . The combination glass/calo- E, domains. The dual-slope circuit
A parallel digital signal uses a sepa- me1 electrode converts the hydrogen produces a pulse which has a duration
rate wire for each bit, position instead ion activity (chemical composition do- proportional to the input signal volt-
of a separate time on a single wire. main) to an electrical potential ( E A a g c i . e . , a EAt signal. The pulse width
The principal advantage of lm-allel domain). This signal is amplified and is converted to a digital signal using the
digital data connections is speed. An converted to a current amplitude that pulse to turn an oscillator on and off,
entire word (group of bits) can be is used to deflect the meter pointer. A generating a count serial digital signal.
conveyed from one circuit to another in
the time required for the transmission
of one bit in a serial connection. .4n pH ELECTiODE
8-bit parallel data source is shown in
Figure 5d connected to indicator lights
SCALE
to show the simultaneous appearance
of the data logic levels on all eight d a h
lines. Binary coding (shown), binary-
coded decimal coding, and others are U
used for parallel digital data, Parallel \ /
data connections are used in all modern, Figure 7. pH meter &At
fast computers. Serial data connections
are often used for telemetry and slow
computer peripherals such as teletypes.

Mapping Domain Conversions


I t has been pointed out that elec-
tronic instruments making chemical or
physical measurements use no fewer
than two data domain conversions. I n
fact, modern laboratory instruments
frequently use three or more domain
conversions to perform the desired mea-
surement. Knowing the data domains
involved in a particular instruments
operation can help in understanding its
operation, applications, limitations, and
adaptability as part of a larger measure- neter

72A ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, VOL. 43, NO. 1, JANUARY 1971


Instrumentation
TEMPRATURE

Figure 9 . Thermistor-digital temperature measurement


TEMPERATUKE

DOMAIN
CONVRSlOU
7/ME

Figure 10. Crystal oscillator temperature measurement Figure 11. Successive domain conversions

Tlic count serial signal is in turn coii-


verted to parallel digital for the display
by a counter. From the domains map
it is seen that four interdomain and one
intradomain conversions are involved in
the measurement.
Digital Temperature Measurement.
Two :rpproaches to n digital thermom-
eter are compared here. The first is a
t,liermistor bridge connected to a digi-
tal voltmeter (E,) as shown in Figure
9. The thermistor bridge circuit con-
verts temperature to voltage. I n this
case t,he E,-to-E, (.4/D) conversion
is accomplished b y a voltage-to-fre-
quency converter and a frequency me-
ter. T h e digital frequency meter op-
erates by counting the number of
cycles of an input signal that occur in
n specific time. The resulting domain
path is shown. There are four inter-
domain and one intradomain conrer-
sions.
The second approach is the use of a
quartz crystal which has a tempera-
ture-dependent resonant frequency. An
oscillator is used to convert the resonant
frequency to a n electrical signal in the
EAt domain. T h e block diagram is
shown in Figure 10. A mixer is used to
subtract a standard frequency, f,, from this simplification would result in state quantities which iyere not ex-
t8he temperature-dependent frequency, greater accuracy, however, depends pected to vary perceptibly over the in-
ft, to obtain n signal for which the fre- upon the accuracy of the converters in- terval of measurement. When the time
quency and temperature are related volved in each case. variation of quantities in the various
directly. This is an example of signal d n t n domains is considered. a third di-
modification occurring in tmheEat do- Conversions of Varying Quantities menqion (time) needs to be added to
main. Yote that this digital thermom- the data domain map of Figure 6, as
eter requires one less interdomain con- The examples used in the previous shown in Figure 11. Here each inter-
version than that of Figure 9. Whether section were measurements of steady- domain conversion is shown as a slice

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, VOL. 43, NO, 1, JANUARY 1971 73A


1. Unicam SP 1000
Infrared
Spectrophotometer
Design innovation increases perform-
ance, reduces cost.
Resolution equivalent to instruments
costing twice the cost.
Ebert grating monochrometer used in
first and second orders.
Excellent presentation of results on
integral large flow chart recorder.
High performance specifications
obtained substantially due to a new solid
state Infrared detector-Unicam IR 50.
Extreme ease of operation.
Attenuated total reflectance and micro-
sampling capability.
Fully stabilized solid state electronics
employing integrated circuits and
monitor points.

2. Pye Series 104


Ciwomiatographs
Front loading column oven provides
unparalleled accessibility for YE",Y4"
and %" glass or metal columns.
High temperature capability to 400C
provides for glass column operation with
glass to metal column connectors.
Detector ovens (self contained) that can
be easily interchanged to provide wide
selection of detector combinations.
Automatic solid sample accessory allows
for complete automatic operation.
Wide dynamic range amplifier (solid
state) provides computer compatible gas
chromatograph.
Most complete gas control provides for
individual pressure regulation for
hydrogen and air for dual flame ionization
detector operation.

750 s F U L I O N aVE M T VERNON N .I 10550


A OlVlSlON OF PEP1 INC
Circle NO. 160 on Readers' Service Card

74A ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, VOL. 43, NO. 1, JANUARY 1971


Instrumentation

Figure 12. Digital recording intrLidomain conversion I n-liicli is then


gas chromatograph converted by the electric field in the
detector to an electrical current (an in-
terdomain conversion). The current
signal is amplified and converted to a
1-oltnge amplitude suitable for A/D
conversion and/or recording. The de-

1I U T/MK sired tlnta :ire n rccortl uf detector cur-


rent us. time. The time re1:itionship of
the printed or piinched vnliies of the
current amplitudes is generally ob-
t:iined by having the successive A/D
conversions performed a t precise mid
rcgiilar tinie intervals. This is ac-
conipli,~Iiedby the tinier slionii in the
block diagram. The donxiin path for
:I single conversion (one time slice) is
t also shown.
Absoiptioii S p e c t i o p l i o t o i i i e t ~ y . The
block dingram of a digitized recording
double-beam spectropliotoineter is
s1ion.n in Figure 13. A nnrrow wave-
length range of light from the light
soiirce is selected by the monocliroina-
tor and passcd on to tlic heam sxitcher
n n d cell compartment. The beam
switcher alternately directs the mono-
cliroiiiatic beam through the reference
and sample cells to the photomultiplier
tube detector. This produces an elec-
Figure 13. "Digitized" double-beam spectrophotometer trical current ( E A domain) ~ h i c l ihas
C OMPOS/T/ON an amplitiidc alternating between sam-
ple and reference beam intensities P
and P o . The desired output signal for
tlie recorder is absorbance A = log,,
(PJZ'), which is accomplished in tlie
log-ratio circuit. This circuit performs
a correlntion between signal levels mea-
sured a t tn-o different times. It must,
therefore, have a memory and n syn-
clironizing connection to the beam
switcher. The recorder is to plot ab-
sorbnnce zls. tlie wavelength of light
from the monochromator. The re-
corder cliart drive thus has a synchro-
nizing coiinection to the monochroma-
tor n-avelengtli drive mechanism.
This standnrd spectrophotometer was
later digitized by putting a retrans-
mitting pot ;isaemlily oii tlie servore-
Figure 14. Fourier transform spectrometer corder. Tliis converts tlie recorder pen
across tlie re:il-time coiitiniiiiin. If a nccurntely represent the amplitude 2)s. position to n volt:tgc :implitudc wliich is
qiinntitj. t'h:it varies continuoiisly with time behavior of the measured quantity. connected to n n A/D converter and
time is to lie converted to the digital Of coiirse, the maximum frequency of printer or punch, Since the absorhnnce
d~~ni:iin, t h e resulting niiinber c n n only mc:isiirenient is limited by the time re- v:iliic rccorded for prcci>c wauc2erigtl~
he true for n specific instant, in time. qnired to convert t,he measured quan- (rntlicr tlinn time) intervals is desired,
I t is not) po,wible, therefore, to make a tity into the digital domain and record the -I/D converter mid printer are syn-
t,ruly contiiiiious digital record of a it. Successive data domain con~7ersions rlironizctl to the wnl-elengtli drive
v a v i n g quantity. W i a t can be done is n-ill be illustrated b y three examples of mechanism rather than a timer.
to me:isiirp the \-arying qiinntity at suc- digitized measurement systems. T h e data doinnins map for the re-
cessive in9t:ints in time. The numerical Gas Chyomatography. A digital re- sulting instrument is showi in Figure
rewit, of rnch mcasnreinent is then cording gas chromatograph is shown 13. It contains nine conversions; seven
stored in order in memorJ- registers, or in Figure 12. T h e components in the interdomain and two intradomnin. The
recorded on pnnclied cards or paper sample mixture are separat,ed by the esciiraion into the scale position domain
tnpc, or by mngnetic recording devices. coliimn resulting in a flow of gas of is iinneceps:iry to the digitizing process
If tlic mcnsiireinents are made fre- varFing composition through the flame and suggests tlint tlie .I,'D converter
qiicntly rnoiigli for tlie varying quan- ionization detector. The flame in the ~voiild linve been better coniiected to
tity t o change only slightly between detector converts the hydrocarbon con- the log-ratio circuit outpiit, if possible.
enrli time, the digital record can quite centration into an ion concentration (an It is interesting t o note that if photon

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, VOL. 43, NO. 1 , JANUARY 1971 75A


Instrumentation
SOMEONE
DJFFE4ENcE position. The quantity measured is
YOU SHOULD ourpur
qEFERENCE
aVrPui-
then the sum of i h e standard units in
t t
KNOW the reference quantity and the differ-
ence output calibrated in t,he same stan-
dard units.
All measurement devices involve both
a difference detector and a reference
standard, although they differ widely in
Figure 15. Basic measurement sys- the degree to which one or the ot,her is
tem
relied upon in the measurement. As a n
esample, three mass measuring devices
counting is used to measure the relative can be compared in this regard. With
intensities, the number of interdomain a double pan balance, the unknown
conversions is reduced to three and a mass is compared with standard
digital log-ratio circuit is required. weights, whole units and fractional, un-
LET OUR Fourier T r a n s f o r m Spectroscopy. A til the difference det,ector (beam
Fourier transform spectrometer is an pointer) points to zero. I n this case,
CATALOG G6 esample of a conceptually very simple the accuracy and resolution of the stan-
INTRODUCE YOU data acquisition system connected to a
comples data correlating and processing
(lard weights determines the accuracy
of the measurement as long as the dif-
TO THE system. The block diagram is shown in ference detector is sufficiently sensitive.
S o accuracy requirement is placed on
Figure 14. T o obtain the interference
WORLD OF PCR. pattern, t,lie A/D converter converts the off-null calibrations of the difference
the detector output signal at constant detector. The other extreme is a
increments of movement of the refer- spring-loaded scale, such as a fish or
ence beam mirror. Each piece of data bathroom scale. I n this case, the ref-
is stored for use in the Fourier trans- crence stnndard weights are used to cal-
form calculation. The data domains ibrate tlie scale markings of the manu-
inn13 as shown is complete for each fncturera original protot,jpe. I n use,
piece of data as it is acquired and thr measurement accuracy depends en-
stored. A successive approximations tircly upon the off-null markings on the
type of X/D converter has been as- scale. The reference standard qiiantity
sumed in this map. There are four in- compared by the scale in this case is
tcrdom:iin and tvio intradomnin con- zero weight. In b e h e e n t,hese two ex-
versions in all. After the transform tremes is the single pan balance with an
cnlculation (which involves an intercor- optical scale for fractional weights.
relation of all the measured data points) Bilnnccs of this type rely upon accur-
i i complete, a plot of absorbance vs. :it? stiintlard w i g h t s for the most sig-
n.avclengtli can be made. iiificant figures n n t l upon off-null cali-
This esnmple demonstrates that 1)rfirions for the less significant figures.
Fourier transformation from nmplitude Similar comparisonj and anaIyses can
7s. time or space to amplitude us. fre- t i c made for other typcs of measure-
qiicncy (or the reverse) is rexlly an in- mrnt del-ices. -4 potcntiometric rolt-
tcrcorrclntion of analog signals which :ige measiircment dcpends much more
1i:ivc nlrcad>-bccn mea?iired. I t i q es- iipon the slidcnire (standard voltage
Are you engaged in Research on icntial to distingiiish between the data iiiiit, adjwtment) calibration than upon
FLUORINE containing compounds? tloiiinin. involvcd in the methods of RC- the gnlvnnometer niill detector, while nn
D o SILICON organics hold your
qiiiring ench data point and the nieth- c1ectric:il nicter depends much more
attention? Catalog G6 contains one
of the most complete listings of these od. of correlating and displn>-inggroups upon tlie difference detector calibra-
compounds to be found anywhere. of tintn points. tions thnn upon the standard. This
Were not limited to these fields of kind of analysis is helpful in assessing
chemistry, many other compounds Errors in Domain Conversions thc soiirccs of errors in measurement
will be f o u n d in t h i s catalog. G6 is clcviccs nntl in c1ioo.ing among avail-
more t h a n just a price list, Molecular T o understand the sources of error in able deviccs for a pnrticular applica-
Weights and Physical Properties are doinnin conversion, it is helpful to re- tion. After considering n variety of
listed for your convenience. vien. hriefl). the hasic measurement tcmx in this way, some
proecs+. Mcnsiirement can be defined tin+ conrepts concerning mensiirement
as: The determinatioii of a particular tleviccs evolve w h i c h can be added to
characteristic of a sample in t e r m s of a tlic four data domain. concepts listed
nzunber of standard units for t h a t char- earlier.
acteristic. The comparison of the quan- ( 5 ) A11 measiiremcnt devices employ
tity to b c measiired with standard iiiiits both n diffcrence detector and a refer-
of that qiiantity is implicit in this defi- ciicc .stantlnrd qiiantit!..
nition. The comparison concept in (6) Eitlicr the diffrrence detector o r
Foryourcopycall904376-7522orwrite meneiirement is illiistrated b!. Figure 15. tlic refercnce standard cnn affect the ac-
PCR, INCORPORATED Thc quantity to be mensnred is com- ciirncy of the mensiirement,.
P.O. Box 1466-Cainesville, Florida 32601 pared with a reference standard qiian- (TI The reference standard quantit,y
Forrnerlv Peninsular ChernResearch Inc tit?. The difference is converted to i.: thc snmc property or characteristic
anotlicr form (domain) such ns scale as tlint which is bring measured.
Circle Ra. 147 on Readers Service Card
76A ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, VOL. 43, NO. 1, JANUARY 1971
Whether you wish t o detect mercury in air, water, food, pounds, has a self-contained circulating pump, comes
soil, fertilizer or metal-or in urine, blood or tissue, one with procedures, and is available with or without all
thing is sure: you'll be able to do it less expensively with necessary standards and reagents. A recorder output is
this lightweight, compact instrument which boasts a sen- provided.
sitivity equal to or better than can be obtained using the The instrument consists of a metal case finished in
most sophisticated atomic absorption unit. gray chemical-resistant enamel measuring 20"xll"xkY'. I t
No special training is required to operate the simple has an all-plastic cell and includes easily demountable
two-control system. No calculations have to be made. The plastic windows to facilitate cleaning.
Model MAS-50 Mercury Analyzer System gives a direct If you're interested in speeding mercury determina-
meter reading in micrograms of mercury and %T. Even tion procedures while at the same time cutting expendi-
an unskilled operator can easily obtain a sensitivity of tures, it will pay you to learn more about this new, in-
0.01 microgram. Response time is less than one minute expensive Coleman instrument. Bulletin B-350 will be sent
mer the full concentration range. on request. Ask us for a copy.
Model MAS-SO, which employs the Hatch and Ott
procedure recommended by the Federal Water Quality M-2000X Coleman Mercury Analyzer System, Model MAS-
50, complete with built-in pump, plastic absorp-
Administration, is a completely self-contained system re- tion cell, tubing, and reaction vessel, but without
quiring n o accessories or hook-up. It weighs only ten reagents or dispensers. Price .......................... ....$875.00

Branches:
Boston
Mass.
. Danbury
Conn.
. Elk Grove Village
111.
. Fullerton
Calif.
Philadelphia
Penna.
Silver Spring
Md.
. Syracuse
N. Y.
Circle No. 164 on Readers' Service Card

ANALYTICAL C H E M I S T R Y , VOL. 43, NO. 1, J A N U A R Y 1971 77A


Instrumentation

A data domain conversion is the con-


version of a number of units of some
physical, chemical, or electrical char-
acteristic into a related number of units
of a different characteristic; for in-
stance, the conversion of units of pH
into Nernst factor potential units b y a
combination p H electrode. Devices for
converting data from one domain to
another are measuring one character-
istic in terms of another. Therefore,
(8) Interdomain converters have the
characteristics of measurement devices.
Using a combination p H electrode as
an example of an interdomain converter
to illustrate concepts 5-7: 5 ) The com-
bination p H electrode itself is the differ-
ence detector; the reference standard
is the standard buffer solution used to
standardize the voltage output a t a
given pH. 6) The conversion error
(difference between the predicted and
actual potential/pH relationship) de-
pends upon the accuracy of the standard
solution and upon the accuracy of the
electrode response. The greater the pH
difference between the standard and un-
known solutions, the more the con-
version accuracy depends upon the elec-
trodes characteristics. 7 ) The refer-
ence standard is pH, the units which
are being converted to electrical poten-
tial.
Once one is accustomed to looking for
new from Buchler ... the difference detector, reference stan-
dard, and accuracy dependence of inter-
domain converters, the basis of the con-
THERMO=LIFT* version and the sources of error are
easier to uncover. Every A/D con-
verter contains a standard voltage or
CONTROLLED HEATING BATH current source and every A t / D con-
verter contains a standard clock oscil-
lator, as expected from concept 7
above. I n both cases the conversion ac-
curacy depends directly upon the stan-
dard sources and, for various types, to
a greater or lesser degree upon the other
converter characteristics.
Conversions of data within domains
can often be accomplished with high ac-
curacy by simple transfer devices that
require no comparison or reference
standard. For instance, a resistor can
be used to convert current to voltage
or vice versa; the shift register will
convert between serial digital and par-
allel digital domains.

Domain Converter Classification

A classification scheme for data con-


version devices would seem desirable for
two purposes: to categorize b y func-
tion the great many devices available,
BUCHLER INSTRUMENTS DlMSlOI

0
and t o provide a way to organize these
m R NUCLEAR-CWICAOO CORP. devices into complete measurement sys-
STRUMENS V I
A SUBSlOlARY OF Q 0 & CO
tems. It is natural and useful t o clas-
sify converter devices according to the
1327 SIXTEENTH STREET, FORT LEE, NEW JERSEY, OIOH
domains which the device converts from
Cirri8 No. 23 on Readers SOrViCO Card

78A ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, VOL. 43, NO. 1, JANUARY 1971


OXYGEN

ARGON I

Cryogenic Chromatography
-

hsyand Effective
With the 7620 GCs cryogenic module, sub-ambient
oven temperature control is as easy and effective as
high-temperature control has been for years.
Its easy because the cryogenic module controls oven
temperature continuously down to -70C and holds it
within 0.1C, for isothermal or programmed operation.
Itssynchronized with programmer operation: a blinking
light tells you when the oven has cooled to the starting
temperature, whether cryogenic or near ambient. It
operates either with economical liquid CO, down to
-70C or with compressed air in the trans-ambient
range. And its a standard option: you can order it in-
stalled on a new 7620 or install it yourself later, with
relative ease, without modification to the programmer.
The most important characteristic of the 7620s cryo-
genic module is its effectiveness. As evidence, we show
the chromatogram of a complete separation of Argon
from Oxygen in a sample of air, performed in 8 minutes
on a 6-foot column (Molecular Sieve 5A) in a 7620 oven
operated isothermally at -30C. Any GC that can do
this is clearly performing well in the sub-ambient region.
Still more evidence of the 7620s precision at sub-
ambient temperatures is presented in Bulletin 7620,
yours on request. Prices start at $5150 for a dual TC
detector instrument; the cryogenic option adds $350.
Hewlett-Packard, Route 41, Avondale, Pa. 19311. In
Europe: 1217 Meyrin-Geneva, Switzerland.

.
.
--
_ -_
.--
__-
__ -

HEWLETT PACKARD

A N A LYTl C A L I N S T R U M E NTS
Circle No. 84 on Readers Service Card
4)OCI
path which has the fewest conversions
ahould also be apparent from tracing
the possible routes shown in Figure 16.
However, the shortest path is not al-
ways the path of choice. For example,
t o go from scale position to parallel
digital, the direct path is 15. However,
absolute shaft rotation encoders with a
high accuracy and ruggedness require-
ment could cost much more than the
devices needed to take route 19-7-12.

Summary

The data domains and measurement


concepts discussed here can be used to
great advantage to analyze and describe
available analog/digital instruments, to
design or modify measurement systems,
and to determine the sources of mea-
surement errors. The data domains
map can serve to shorn the data path
from a block diagram or to devise a
possible block diagram for instruments
or modules, knowing only the input and
output domains.
To analyze or describe an instrument,
use the instrument description and
block diagram to carefully follow the
Figure 16. Domain converter classification map measurement, data st ell-by-step through
the instrument. Trace out the path on
a domains map as shown in Figures 7-
1. Resistor, op amp circuit 12. Counter
2. Count rate meter 13. Shift register
10 and 12-14. S o w each converter cor-
3. V.F converter 14. Nixie tubes, printer responds to a line segment on the do-
4. Dual slope A/D converter, ramp 15. Shaft rotation encoder mains map. The conversion errors can
A/D converter 16. Stepper motor be assessed by identifying and studying
5. Phase angle meter 17. Mechanical shaft turns counter the reference source and difference de-
6. Counting gate timer 18. Recorder tector for each conr-erter. Modifica-
7. Staircase A/D converter 19. Retransmitting potentiometer tions to instruments can be made by
8. Programmable frequency divider 20. D/A converter (ladder or weighted exchanging equivalent converters or by
9. Gated oscillator sum) adding appropriate line segments to the
10. Preset digital timer 21. Meter instruments domains map where new
11. Successive approximation A/D
converter domains are to be included. New sys-
tenis can be designed by completing a
chart like Figure 1 G for the devices
ar-nilable and comparing all the possi-
ble rolites between the desired input
and output domains.
Readers comments, criticisms, and
discuszion on the concepts described in
and to. The domains map shows three verter categories. Figure 16 shows 21 this article are welcomed. The author
electrical domains with three subdo- categories of converters arranged by in- gratefiilly acknowledges the many help-
mains each, the scale position domain, put, and output domains. Examples of ful discussions he had with Dr. Hoivard
the number domain, and the physical devices for each listed domain transi- llalmqtadt, Dr. Stanley Crouch, Jim
and chemical domains. For this classi- tion are given in the accompanying ta- Ingle, and his graduate students during
fication, concentrating on electronic in- ble. This map and table clearly shorn the el-ohition of these ideas.
strumentation, only the electrical, scale what direct transitions are possible and
position, and number domains will be which specific devices will do them. I n
detailed. There are 110 possible inter- addition, Figure 16 can be used to ob- References
domain and intradoniain conversions tain and compare many possible com-
among these 11 domains and subdo- binations of devices to achieve a given (1) H. V. Mslmstadt and C. G. Enke,
mains. However, direct converters for transition by following connecting Digital Electronics for Scientists. 1%.
most of these transitions are rare or un- paths. Thus voltage-to-parallel digital A . Benjamin, Y e a York, N . Y . , 1969.
known. Thus the number of catego- coiivertcrs could be made by paths 3- (2) D. Hoeachclc Jr.. 4nalog-to-Digital-
ries required to encompass the common G-12, 7-12, 4-9-12, 11-13, and 15-15. to-.4nalog Conversion Techniques,
Wiley. S e w York, S . Y., 1968.
converters is not unwieldy. These five types of A/D converters are (3)( H. V. Malnietadt and C. G. Enke,
The domains map is a very conve- all currently marketed. Computer Logic, W. A . Benjamin.
nient means of organizing domain con- For any required conversion, that Yew York, S . Y . , 1970.

80A ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, VOL. 43, NO, 1, JANUARY 1971