Interpreting & Analyzing of FTIR Results for Beginners

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Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is an experimental test to identify organic/inorganic materials. But for understanding and interpretation of FTIR results, the principles of the analysis should be studied.

Principles of FTIR

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To better interpretation of FTIR results, it’s useful to know about the principles of the test.

Generally, by introducing infrared radiation (IR) to a material, FTIR’s detectors detect a sample’s absorbance of infrared light at various wavenumbers to determine the material’s chemical structure. FTIR spectrometer converts the experimental data from the broadband source to the absorbance level at each wavenumber.

This method can be employed for solids, liquids, and gaseous samples. Some times, the weight of samples required for a viable analysis is very low and most analyses can be conducted with little sampling process.

How to interpret FTIR spectra

The X-Axis

The horizontal axis shows the IR spectrum, which represents the intensity of the IR spectra. The absorbance peaks, can be attributed to the various vibrations of the sample’s bonds exposed to the IR energy of the electromagnetic spectrum. Usually, the wavenumber on the IR spectrum is drew between 4000 to 400 cm-1.

FTIR Graph Pointing Out X-Axis

The Y-Axis

The vertical axis shows the amount of IR absorbance/transmittance by the under-studied material.

FTIR Graph Pointing Out Y-Axis

The Absorbance Bands

Generally, absorbance bands can be derived into two groups: Group frequencies and fingerprint frequencies.

Group frequencies are assigned to small groups of bonds such as C-H, O-H, and C=O. These types of bonds are usually observable at 1500-400 cm-1 in the IR spectrum and they are typically unique to a specific bond or functional group in a structure.

For fingerprint frequencies, these are assigned to the chemical structure as a whole. These types of absorbances are usually observable at 400-1500cm-1 in the IR spectrum. Therefore, this region is less reliable for identification, however the absence of a peak is often more indicative than the presence of a peak in this region.

Absorbance Bands on a FTIR Graph

How to analyze FT-IR Spectra

Generally, interpretation of FT-IR spectra starts at the high frequencies end to identify the presence functional groups. The fingerprint regions are then investigated to identify the chemical bonds.

Interpreting a FTIR Spectra Graph

Still Curious About FTIR Analysis?

FTIR is a useful technique for manufacturers and researchers of various industries. If you have more questions about the analysis or are wondering if it may be a fit for your testing needs, contact us for a quote.

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