Infrared spectrometry is useful for the identification of both organic and inorganic compounds. Aggregates of atoms (or functional groups) such as C=O, -NO2, C-N, and C-F; just to name a few, are all associated with characteristic infrared absorptions. Thus, infrared spectrometry is ideal for the identification of functional groups present within a sample. FT-IR capabilities within the MCL are geared towards the analysis of solids (organic, inorganic, and biological) in a variety of forms to include: fibers, thin films, microtome cuts, particles, powders, coatings, residues, monolayers, and monolithic solids. With the recent acquisition of an infrared microscope MCL now has FT-IR mapping/imaging capabilities along with the capacity to perform infrared microanalysis on samples down to ~10 microns in size.
The detection limit for routine analysis is ~0.1 wt%; under ideal conditions greater sensitivity can be achieved.
Typically, only a few milligrams of material are needed for analysis.
Samples may be in liquid, solid, or gaseous form. MCL has a significant collection of sampling accessories. See below.
Additional sample requirements vary widely depending upon the specific technique employed for analysis.
The MCL has three high performance research grade FT-IR spectrometers. The V80 and V70 are equipped with a wide range of sampling accessories. Through the use of interchangeable optical components MCL has the ability to acquire data over the near-IR (12,000-4,000 cm-1), mid-IR (4,000-400 cm-1), and far-IR (680-30 cm-1) regions. Additionally, the V80 is a step-scan capable instrument for high temporal resolution spectrometry. The evacuable optics bench of the V80v vacuum FTIR spectrometer allow acquisition of data in the mid-IR and far-IR regions without the interference of atmospheric water and carbon dioxide.
The Hyperion 3000 FT-IR microscope enables the acquisition of mid-IR and near-IR spectra from very small (>10 µm) samples with diffraction limited spatial resolution. Various collection modes are available and include: transmission, specular reflectance, attenuated total reflectance, and reflection-absorption. The microscope is equipped with brightfield, darkfield, and fluorescence illumination as well as polarization capabilities to enhance contrast and facilitate sample visualization. In addition to single point measurements, the microscope possesses extensive mapping and imaging capabilities. Use of the single element MCT detector in conjunction with the computer controlled stage permits sample mapping with a positioning accuracy of ±3 µm . The 64 x 64 element focal plane array detector enables diffraction limited mid-IR imaging of areas as large as 340 x 340 µm.