Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy


In Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (or FTIR analysis), an infrared spectrum of a sample is made by passing a beam of infrared light through a sample or reflecting off of the surface of the sample. The infrared light is absorbed at specific frequencies representing the vibrations of bonds or groups in the molecule. For a vibrational mode in a molecule to be infrared active it must have a permanent dipole. An absorbance spectrum is produced, showing the wavelengths that the sample absorbs, revealing details about the molecular structure of a sample.

FTIR spectroscopy is particularly useful in analyzing and identifying organic and some inorganic compounds. Searchable in-house, electronic and on-line spectral databases are commonly utilized and are invaluable in identifying industrial chemicals and products.

Samples can be as small as 20µm and the FTIR spectrometer is sensitive to components that are present in concentrations greater than approximately 3-5% of the total.


Bruker IFS 55

System Accessories:

  • One microscope equipped with micro-attenuated total reflectance, a mapping stage, grazing angle objective with polarizer, transmission/reflection
  • Baseline™ Horizontal Attenuated Total Reflection Attachment with germanium and zinc selenide flat plates and a zinc selenide trough cell
  • Diamond Compression Cell
  • FT-80 Fixed 80° Grazing Angle Accessory
  • FT-85 Fixed 85° Grazing Angle Accessory with polarizer
  • Model 500 Variable Angle Specular Reflectance Accessory
  • Baseline™ Diffuse Reflectance Kit
  • Demountable Liquid Cell Kit
  • Detection sensitivity of components at approximately 3-5% of the total

Selected Applications in Industry:

  • Identification/oxidation of polymers and fibres
  • Identification of contaminants on surfaces
  • Failure analysis of polymers
  • Material identification of organic films, particles, powders and liquids