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Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

Infrared Spectroscopy

  1. Georg Ramer,
  2. Bernhard Lendl

Published Online: 15 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9287

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Ramer, G. and Lendl, B. 2013. Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2013


Attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy is now the most widespread implementation of mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy. While the FTIR technique allows the fast and stable collection of MIR spectra, the ATR technique allows mechanically stable, robust, and quick sampling. ATR-FTIR spectroscopy is routinely used in industrial and research laboratories. The ATR-FTIR technique finds application in, e.g. biology, medicine, forensics, process analytical chemistry and organic chemistry. Even though ATR spectroscopy is often treated as a routine technique, it has several intricacies that users should be aware of to avoid measurement errors and artifacts.

In this article, starting from the theoretical underpinnings of ATR spectroscopy, we aim to give novices in ATR-FTIR spectroscopy the knowledge to successfully use this technique and to avoid common errors. The theoretical treatment of ATR spectroscopy is complemented by practical information about the routine and advanced uses of ATR spectroscopy. Furthermore, the reader will find descriptions of future trends in ATR-FTIR and evanescent wave spectroscopy. Finally, a list of literature for further reading and a list of vendors of ATR accessories and their product lines are given to facilitate using the ATR technique.