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Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy

Optical Imaging and Spectroscopy

  1. Jeffrey S. Gaffney,
  2. Nancy A. Marley,
  3. Darin E. Jones

Published Online: 12 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471266965.com107.pub2

Characterization of Materials

Characterization of Materials

How to Cite

Gaffney, J. S., Marley, N. A. and Jones, D. E. 2012. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy. Characterization of Materials. 1–33.

Author Information

  1. University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 OCT 2012


Infrared (IR) spectroscopy has always been a powerful tool for the identification of organic materials. However, with the development of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, it has become a more popular method for the quantitative analysis of complex mixtures, as well as the investigation of surface and interfacial phenomena. This chapter reviews the basic theory behind FTIR spectroscopy and describes the currently used instrumentation and its application to gas, liquid, bulk and powdered solid samples, and thin films using both transmission and reflectance methods, including specular, diffuse, and attenuated total reflectance (ATR) techniques. The optimization of instrumental parameters, sample handling techniques, signal processing, and data analysis are described. The characteristic vibrational absorption bands used for the identification of key chemical structures as well as methods for quantitative measurement of chemical composition are overviewed. Potential problems often encountered in using the different FTIR techniques in material and chemical species characterization and are also discussed in an effort to help the nonexpert in the field to make the best use of these powerful methods.


  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy;
  • diffuse reflectance FTIR;
  • attenuated total reflectance