How Are You Using Your FTIR Spectrophotometer?

Learn some of the most exciting applications and more from the latest FTIR survey results

By Erica Tennenhouse

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.

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.

Most common problems users experience when using their FTIR Spectrophotometer:

Low signal 46%
Noise 46%
Scanning problems 43%
Peak shape 19%
Poor absorbance accuracy 16%
Wavelength accuracy 14%
No signal 8%
Not meeting published resolution specifications 3%

Factors that would help users overcome their FTIR spectrophotometer challenges

Better technical support 45%
Better training 40%
Improved maintenance 37%
Newer equipment 30%
Newer accessories 17%
More staff 5%

Some of the most exciting applications for FTIR as reported by users:

FTIR Microscopy
Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscopes, used in conjunction with FTIR spectroscopy, enable visualization of a sample while its components are being analyzed. The many applications for FTIR microscopy include pharmaceuticals, materials science, forensics, and environmental testing.

Deformulation is the process of breaking down of a formulation into its basic components with the aim of reconstructing the original formulation. FTIR is an effective analytical technique for identifying the ingredients in solid or liquid samples, regardless of whether those components are volatile or non-volatile.

For more information on FTIR, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit

See previous survey results:

Categories: Surveys

Published In

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Published: September 8, 2017

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