Fourier-Transformed InfraRed (FTIR) spectroscopy has been a widespread technique for material characterization since the mid-1950’s. If you consider UV-Vis spectroscopy as a presence or absence technique then FTIR spectroscopy tells you specific information on the compounds present. FTIR spectrum represents a fingerprint of a sample with absorption peaks which correspond to the frequencies of vibrations between the bonds of the atoms making up the material.
Because each different material is a unique combination of atoms, no two compounds produce the exact same IR spectrum. Therefore, IR spectroscopy can result in a positive identification (qualitative analysis) of every different kind of material. In addition, the size of the peaks in the spectrum is a direct indication of the amount of material present. With modern software algorithms, infrared is an excellent tool for quantitative analysis.
The Center’s Bruker Tenor 27 has several accessories that allow for a variety of sample measurements. Solids and liquids can be measure using the diamond lens Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR) module, Solids can also be measured using the Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (DRIFTS) module. KBr pellets can also be used, though we do not have pellet presses in our lab.