Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

FTIR spectroscopy gives information about chemical bonds and molecular structures. This method is particularly useful to obtain the qualitative or semi-quantitative composition and  mapping of organic materials.

During the analysis, the sample is irradiated by infrared light that is absorbed by its molecules at wavelengths varying according to vibrational modes. Because of this, an infrared spectrum can be used to identify the compounds present.


Type of samples: Organic liquids and solids
Type of information: molecular
Precision: Qualitative (usually) in limited cases semi-quantitative
Detection limit: about 5%
Depth of analysis: up to 5 microns
Smallest measurable area: 1 micron


-Identification of the molecular composition on the surface and in depth
-Failure analysis
-Analysis of thin films, coatings and molecular films



-Fast and well-know technique
-Mapping available
-Large databases are available to identify a wide range of compounds
-Ideal to quantitatively compare organic materials

-Generally only useful for organic materials
-Semi-quantitative analyses can be complex

Resolution/sensitivity : 0.5 cm-1 , 1 – 5% in weight

Depth resolution : 0.1 – 5 µm

Lateral resolution : Imaging : ~ 5 µm

Infrared microscopy (point by point mapping and infrared imaging), photoacoustic cell, depth analysis, horizontal ATR and micro-ATR, specular reflection, diffuse reflection (DRIFTS), PM-IRRAS and variable angle measurements, IR polarization measurements.

Manufacturer : Digilab

Model : FTS7000

Manufacturer : BioRad

Model : FTS6000, FTS3000

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