Surface Coating / Alfa Chemistry

FTIR for Surface Analysis


Because each compound has a unique infrared spectrum that may be used as a "fingerprint" to uniquely identify the compound, infrared spectroscopy is very specific for identifying chemical components. As a result, infrared spectroscopy is the most frequently used tool for assessing surface chemistry, ranging from lubricating layers to deposited films and molecular monolayers.

Alfa Chemistry has a variety of surface characterization technologies, including ATR (attenuated total reflection), external (specular) reflection, and DRIFTS (diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy), that can help you with professional surface analysis services like deposition on metals and semiconductors, as well as characterization of thin films and molecular monolayers on dielectric substrates.

Learn About FTIR

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) is an analytical technique used to identify organic, polymer, and in certain circumstances inorganic materials. Infrared light is used to scan test materials and examine chemical characteristics using the FTIR analysis method.

FTIR for Surface AnalysisFig 1. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. (Mohamed M. A, et al. 2017)

The FTIR instrument emits around 10000 to 100 cm-1 of infrared light through the sample, with part of it being absorbed and some passing through. The sample molecules transform the absorbed radiation into rotational and/or vibrational energy. The signal acquired at the detector appears as a spectrum, which depicts the sample's chemical fingerprint and typically ranges from 4000 to 400 cm-1. FTIR analysis is an effective method for chemical identification because each molecule or chemical structure gives a unique spectral fingerprint.

The first step in the material analysis procedure is frequently FTIR spectroscopy. The presence of impurities or a change in the material composition is clearly shown by a change in the absorption band's distinctive pattern. FTIR microanalysis is frequently used to establish the source of a product fault discovered through visual inspection. This method can be used to examine the chemical composition of microscopic particles (typically 10-50 microns) as well as larger portions of the surface.

The following situations are investigated using FTIR by Alfa Chemistry:

  • Unknown elements in thin films must be identified and characterized.
  • In failure analysis studies, identify oxidized, degraded, or uncured monomers.
  • Detect contaminants, such as particles, fibers, powders, or liquids, on or inside items.

FTIR of Alfa Chemistry

FTIR spectroscopy is a very potent instrument with many uses, as Alfa Chemistry knows. The capacity to introduce and observe energy from a certain matrix is just as crucial as correct FTIR analysis. To properly analyze materials, we have a variety of sample preparation and introduction techniques available in the laboratory.

 FTIR of Alfa Chemistry

  • We mainly rely on changes in ATR technology to introduce and observe energy since we may employ optics to focus and modify the incident beam. Internal reflection phenomena are used in ATR to spread incident energy.
  • We commonly employ horizontal attenuated total reflection (HATR) technology for liquid and pasty samples, which includes positioning the sample horizontally on a crystal plate or tank such that gravity is in close touch with the battery. Different crystals can be employed, and the depth of penetration into the sample will be affected.
  • We'll utilize the micro ATR attachment to focus the beam on a single reflection ATR crystal when we wish to focus it on a small area of interest. We can put the sample in close contact with the ATR crystal using the ATR cell's optimal viewing capability.
  • We will use a tiny FTIR system to characterize sample areas, layers, or fine particles when precision placement is necessary. Microscopic FTIR in reflection mode allows us to insert the ATR probe into the area of interest using microscopic optics and a concentrated infrared beam. We can also spatially resolve differential chemistry in a very tiny area using this technique.

We have other reflection technologies, such as specular reflection and diffuse reflection, in addition to the above-mentioned ATR reflection technique. Please get in touch with us to discuss which technique is ideal for your needs.


  • Mohamed M. A, et al. (2017). "Chapter 1 - Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy." Membrane Characterization. 3-29.

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