Is it possible to teach students the fundamentals of instrumental techniques, like FTIR, in a remote setting? The answer is a resounding yes.
The Thermo Scientific Nicolet Summit FTIR Spectrometer was designed with advanced connectivity features and new software to make 100% remote analysis possible. Students can collect, process, and analyze real spectral data without ever having to step foot into the chemistry lab.
The FTIR Virtual Lab contains three learning modules to help teach the fundamentals of FTIR spectroscopy to undergraduate chemistry students. Software workflows and online analysis tools walk students through the collection and processing steps, which can be done anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
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FTIR spectroscopy contains several data collection parameters that can be changed to optimize a spectrum. This module teaches students about the impact of changing those collection parameters, including number of scans and resolution. See the effects that collection parameters have on signal-to-noise ratios and peak resolution.
Learning Module Goal: Understand the impact that changing collection parameters, including number of scans and spectral resolution, has on spectral data
Questions and observations that will be covered in Module 1:
Peak locations, peak heights, functional group ID etc… are all important analysis skills for students to learn. The Polymer Analysis module uses the internal polystyrene standard located in the instrument to quickly collect a high-quality polystyrene spectrum. Then, students will conduct basic FTIR processing and analysis steps to correlate the polystyrene spectrum with its chemical structure.
Learning Module Goal: Correlate spectral peak locations with chemical structure / functional groups of polystyrene and explain the significance of peak heights and peak areas
Questions and observations that will be covered in Module 2:
Most FTIR systems that students encounter in industry will use an attenuated total reflectance (ATR) accessory. Collecting data through an ATR accessory fundamentally changes the peak intensities, which can impact spectral library searching results. This module clearly shows the difference between transmission and ATR spectra, along with the impact it can have on library searching and material identification.
Learning Module Goal: Understand why ATR analysis changes the relative peak intensities of a spectrum and investigate the impact of ATR correction on spectra library searching
Questions and observations that will be covered in Module 3:
Be sure to download these assets before you begin:
In the set up, the professor and each student will need to create a free Thermo Fisher Connect account to access and analyze the data from the FTIR Virtual Lab. The Thermo Scientific OMNIC Paradigm Software located on the instrument will be used to drive the data collection. Data analysis will be done by each student individually in the OMNIC Anywhere cloud-based application.