Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is a non-destructive analytical technique that measures the absorption or transmission of infrared radiation by a sample as a function of frequency or wavelength. FTIR is commonly used for qualitative and quantitative analysis of organic and inorganic compounds in various fields such as pharmaceuticals, polymers, food, and environmental analysis.
Typical uses of FTIR include:
- Identification of unknown compounds by comparing their FTIR spectra to reference spectra.
- Analysis of chemical functional groups and chemical bonds present in a sample.
- Quantitative analysis of the concentration of specific compounds in a sample.
- Characterization of the structure and conformation of polymers and proteins.
The strengths of FTIR include its high sensitivity, specificity, and ability to provide a wealth of information about the chemical composition and structure of a sample. FTIR can detect very small amounts of compounds in complex mixtures and can provide quantitative data. FTIR is also a relatively simple and rapid technique that can analyze solid, liquid, and gas samples.
The limitations of FTIR include its inability to provide information about the three-dimensional structure of a molecule and its sensitivity to interference from water and other atmospheric gases. FTIR is also prone to interference from sample preparation artifacts, such as impurities or contaminants. Moreover, FTIR is a relatively expensive technique that requires specialized training and expertise to interpret the spectra correctly.