Infrared Spectroscopy (IR / FTIR)

Infrared Spectroscopy (IR / FTIR)

Infrared spectroscopy is a method of identifying and analyzing chemical compounds. An infrared beam is directed at a sample, and by measuring the radiation that is absorbed by the sample at different frequencies, one can tell what types of molecules make up the sample. The Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer is the most common type of infrared spectrometer. It records the data collected and transforms the data into a spectrum. The spectrum is displayed with a graph that shows at which frequency and how much absorption occurred. Because different molecules absorb the radiation at specific frequencies in known amounts, the spectrum can be used to identify the sample at a molecular level.

Applications of infrared spectroscopy

Infrared spectroscopy is used in research to identify samples, do quantitative analysis, or detect impurities. Infrared spectroscopy can be used on gaseous, liquid, or solid samples and does not destroy the sample in the process. Other applications include:

  • Chemical analysis
  • Forensics
  • Environmental testing
  • and more…

How do I choose an infrared spectrometer ?

When deciding which infrared spectrometer is right for your laboratory, there are several things to consider. The kinds of samples that need to be analyzed, for instance, gas, liquids, solids, or a combination of the three. Some infrared spectrometers have reference spectra libraries stored in them that are compared to your sample spectrum automatically, making identification much easier. Some FTIRs even allow you to add to the reference library for a more customized analysis. The spectrometer can be integrated into a computer or a standalone device that can be connected to an existing computer.

Latest update on infrared spectroscopy

Infrared spectroscopy continues to be used for exciting new projects. In Hawaii, scientists have installed a new infrared spectrometer that will enable them to see more distant areas of the universe than ever before. The spectrometer can see things that are moving away from Earth, causing their wavelengths to increase until they are in the infrared spectrum and become invisible to the naked eye. They expect to be able to study distant galaxies, black holes, and the distribution of dark matter. Infrared spectrometers are also being developed that can be used at the nanometer level, allowing researchers to analyze much smaller particles than they have been able to previously.

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