Fundamentals of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy: 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Fundamentals of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

2nd Edition

By Brian C. Smith

CRC Press

207 pages | 155 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-03-09
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Reflecting the myriad changes and advancements in the technologies involved in FTIR, particularly the development of diamond ATRs, this second edition of Fundamentals of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy has been extensively rewritten and expanded to include new topics and figures as well as updates of existing chapters.

Designed for those new to FTIR, but with enough reference material to appeal to journeyman and expert spectroscopists, this book does not demand any extensive familiarity with chemistry or physics. Specializing in concise and comprehensible explanations of FTIR topics, the author introduces the field of infrared spectroscopy, including the strengths and weaknesses of FTIR as a chemical analysis technique. He then describes the instrument itself and explores topics such as how an interferometer generates a spectrum, optimization of spectral quality, and which tests are used to monitor instrument health.

The book discusses how to properly use spectral processing to increase the information of a spectrum without damaging the data and takes considerable care in instructing on sample preparation, as good sample preparation constitutes half the battle in extracting good data. The final chapters examine single analyte quantitative analysis and conclude with an overview of infrared microscopy.

Drawing on the experience and knowledge of the author as both a professor and practitioner, Fundamentals of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy offers up-to-date information given in clear, easily understood language to appeal to beginner and expert spectroscopists alike.

The author maintains a website and blog with supplemental material. His training course schedule is also available online.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Infrared Spectroscopy

Terms and Definitions

The Properties of Light

What Is an Infrared Spectrum?

What Are Infrared Spectra Used For?

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Infrared Spectroscopy

The Advantages and Disadvantages of FTIR

The Advantages of FTIRs

The Disadvantage of FTIR

FTIR: The Rest of the Story

How an FTIR Works

Interferometers and Interferograms

How Many Scans Should Be Used?

How an Interferogram Becomes a Spectrum

Scanning Advice

Instrumental Resolution

What Determines Resolution in an FTIR Scan?

What Resolution Should Be Used?

FTIR Trading Rules

FTIR Hardware


Infrared Sources


Infrared Detectors

The Laser

Testing Instrument Quality and Troubleshooting

Proper Use of Spectral Processing

The Rules of Spectral Processing

Spectral Subtraction

Subtraction Artifacts

Baseline Correction


Spectral Derivatives


Guidance, Precautions, and Limitations

Spectral Library Searching

The Search Process

Interpreting Library Search Results

Analysis of Mixtures: Subtract and Search Again

Preparing Samples Properly

Transmission Sampling Overview

Windows, Cells, and Materials for Transmission Analysis

Transmission Analysis of Solids and Powders

KBr Pellets


Transmission Analysis of Polymers

The Cast Film Method

The Heat and Pressure Method

Transmission Analysis of Liquids

Capillary Thin Films

Sealed Liquid Cells

Transmission Analysis of Gases and Vapors

Reflectance Analysis

Different Types of Reflectance

Advantages and Disadvantages of Reflectance Sampling

Specular Reflectance

Diffuse Reflectance (DRIFTS)

Abrasive Sampling

Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR)

Depth of Penetration

Applications of ATR





ATR: Advantages and Disadvantages

FTIR Sample Preparation: Overview and Recommendations

Quantitative Infrared Spectroscopy

Terms and Definitions

Beer’s Law

Calibration and Prediction with Beer’s Law



An Experimental Protocol for Single Component Analyses

Measuring Absorbances Properly

Peak Areas versus Peak Heights

Dealing with Overlapped Peaks

Avoiding Experimental Errors

Infrared Microscopy

Hyphenated Infrared Techniques

Infrared Microscopy Instrumentation

Sample Preparation


Infrared Mapping and Imaging



About the Author

Dr. Brian C. Smith founded Spectros Associates in 1992. He has practiced spectroscopy for over 30 years, and has worked for companies such as Bell Labs and Bio-Rad. Dr. Smith is also an experienced trainer and thousands of people have benefited from his spectroscopy and software training. Dr. Smith is the author of Fundamentals of Fourier Transform Spectroscopy and Infrared Spectral Interpretation, published by CRC Press, and Quantitative Spectroscopy: Theory and Practice, published by Academic Press. Dr. Smith earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Dartmouth College, and graduated summa cum laude from Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Chemistry.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Analytic
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Industrial & Technical