Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) Analysis Testing Lab

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, also known as FTIR analysis or FTIR spectroscopy, is used broadly to detect functional groups in a chemical compound by obtaining an infrared spectrum. This analytical technique i s used to identify organic, polymeric, and sometimes inorganic materials.... Read More

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FTIR Analysis Working Principle

When infrared light hits the sample, it absorbs light and generates various vibration modes. This absorption is precisely related to the nature of the bonds within the molecule. The frequency range is usually measured as wavenumbers from 4000 to 600 cm-1. The FTIR spectra are measured in wavenumbers. Wavenumbers are directly related to energy and frequency, making the spectrum easy to interpret. The background is recorded prior to sample analysis to avoid air and water vapor contamination spikes. Background content and sample spectrum are directly related to the absorption spectrum of the sample. The absorption spectrum shows the different vibrations of the bonds present in the sample molecules. Several modes occur due to different bond vibrations. Thus, in this way, we can easily identify the functional groups in the molecule.

Image 01: FTIR Analysis

The samples which can be identified by FTIR analysis are as follows:

  • Compounded plastics
  • Blends
  • Fillers
  • Paints
  • Rubbers
  • Coatings
  • Resins
  • Adhesives

Common Uses of FTIR Analysis

  • Identification and characterization of unknown materials (e.g., films, solids, powders, or liquids)
  • Identification of additives after they are extracted from a polymer matrix
  • It can be applied to all stages of the product life cycle including design, manufacturing, and failure analysis.

Advantages of FTIR Analysis

  • FTIR is a sensitive and fast method for acquiring high-quality spectra.
  • This spectroscopy provides a better signal-to-noise ratio compared to dispersive instruments.
  • FTIR eliminates the need for external calibration and provides accurate results. 
  • FTIR is a non-destructive technique.
  • FTIR can identify even trace impurities. 

Industrial applications

  • FTIR spectroscopy is an established quality control method in the evaluation of manufactured materials and often serves as the first step in the materials analysis process.
  • FTIR analysis can be used to identify toxins and contaminants in plastics.
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    FAQs on Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) Analysis Testing Lab

    How does Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) work?

    FTIR uses infrared light to irradiate a sample and polymeric and organic compounds, present in the sample, produce their distinctive fingerprint in the form of an infrared absorption spectrum (interferograms). The FTIR software applies fourier transformations to convert this interferogram to IR spectra that are unique to the various functional groups and chemical bonds present in the sample. Comparing these spectrographs against available databases can give quantitative analysis of the compounds present in the materials.

    What are the advantages of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) over Infrared Spectroscopy (IR)?

    FTIR is advantageous over IR spectroscopy in the following categories:
    • Better spectral quality
    • Better data collection speed
    • Easier to use and maintain
    • Better reproducibility of data

    What is FTIR and its advantages?

    Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is an optical analytical technique frequently used to identify organic and polymeric compounds in solid, liquid and gaseous samples.

    Advantages of FTIR:

    o Short scan time.
    o Wavelength measurements are performed simultaneously.
    o Precise and reproducible measurements.
    o The wavelength scale is calibrated by a HeNe laser, which is stable and accurate – the user does not need to calibrate the instrument.
    o The detectors are quite sensitive, and the optical throughput is much higher.
    o Mechanically simple equipment because of only one moving part.
    o Reduced interference by stray light.

    What are the components of FTIR?

    The following are the components used in FTIR testing:
    1. IR source
    2. Detector
    3. Beam splitter
    4. Attenuated total reflectance
    5. A Fourier transform algorithm

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