FTIR Spectrophotometers

Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, a subset of infrared (IR) spectroscopy, uses a mathematical algorithm, Fourier transform, to translate raw infrared data into a spectrum.

FTIR is useful for the analysis of organic and inorganic compounds that exhibit changes in polarity as a result of the vibration, spinning, or perturbation of molecular bonds. FTIR methods are common in such industries as foods, materials, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, forensics, and others. Advantages of FTIR over conventional IR are higher resolution, better signal-to-noise, easier analysis of very small samples and poorly-absorbing species, and much more rapid analysis.

Recent Trends in FTIR Spectrophotometers

  • For research FTIR, where polymer, materials, coatings, and industrial applications still predominate, cell and tissue analysis is still pretty new.
  • Microscope-based imaging FTIR is making inroads into cell biology in ways that were barely imagined just a few years ago. This technique allows scientists to create multidimensional maps of a tissue based on its chemical composition.
  • Many FTIR instrument operators now have multiple responsibilities and may not have the same level of expertise with any one of them as their predecessors
  • Experts see FTIR applications growing for screening food and pharmaceutical ingredients, adulterated fuels, raw materials, and counterfeit drugs as this technology moves forward

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying an FTIR Spectrophotometer

  1. What applications are you using FTIR for? This will determine what type of FTIR spectrophotometer will be the best fit for you. For example, if you will be conducting most work outside the lab, a portable instrument is likely a good fit. FTIR microscopy may also be an option you’ll want to consider, depending on what type of research you do.
  2. What sort of environment will you be working in? If you are out in the field, in a humid area for example, the instrument should be tough enough to handle the conditions.
  3. Who will be using the instrument? If non-experts will be the main users, it makes sense to go for a user-friendly instrument that won’t take too much time to learn to use. The complexity of the software is also important to consider.
  4. What accessories are available for the instrument and how wide is their range?
  5. As with most instruments, you should ask what sort of service and support the company provides for the FTIR spectrophotometer, and its cost in terms of acquisition, running the FTIR, and maintaining the instrument.

Article Courtesy of Lab Manager Magazine

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