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Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry in Atmospheric and Trace Gas Analysis

Environment: Trace Gas Monitoring

  1. David W.T. Griffith,
  2. Ian M. Jamie

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a0710

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Griffith, D. W. and Jamie, I. M. 2006. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry in Atmospheric and Trace Gas Analysis. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometry is the dominant technique used to measure the infrared (IR) absorption and emission spectra of most materials, with substantial advantages in signal-to-noise ratio (S/N), resolution, speed and detection limits over conventional dispersive spectroscopy. In this application, FTIR spectrometry is used to measure the trace gas composition of the atmosphere. Applications to both clean and polluted air are described. Techniques include measurements over open paths in situ, sampling and measurement in closed cells in the field or laboratory and, briefly, remote sensing using the sun, sky or natural hot objects as an IR radiation source. The techniques are applicable to a very wide range of compounds, including labile or reactive species, and all species are measured simultaneously. Detection limits vary with the application but are typically of the order of parts per billion (nmol mol−1) in air.