FTIR materials analysis

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy is one of the most popular spectroscopic techniques used for identification and characterization of materials. FTIR on its own provides clear insights into the identity, purity, and quantity of materials. But when combined with related techniques mentioned below it creates a powerful tool for labs looking to characterize materials. The FTIR provides material identification and detection to compliment separations (in GC-IR) or to understand the chemistry underlying rheological changes.

Raman and FTIR spectroscopy

Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for investigating the composition and structure of polymers, APIs, and many other materials. FT-Raman uses a NIR laser wavelength for excitation, enabling sampling through glass vials, polymer blister packs, evidence bags and similar packaging materials.  FTIR and Raman are complementary techniques. In general, various peaks which are strong in Raman are weak in FTIR.  Hence a combination of the two techniques provides a complete characterization of molecules. 

NIR and FTIR spectroscopy

The typical mid-infrared region spans from 400-4000 cm-1, which is suitable for qualitative analysis. Regions from 4000-14000 cm-1 are made of rich overtones and combination peaks—these regions are typically suitable for various quantitation analysis. A big advantage of working in the NIR region is the ability to analyze materials in clear glass vials and samples that are heterogenous.

FTIR and gas chromatography

Gas chromatography is the separation and characterization of gases based on their retention times. When combined with a choice of detectors, such as mass spectrometers or infrared detectors, GC can provide complete structural elucidation. The biggest advantage of combining a gas chromatography system with FTIR is the characterization of isomers and co-eluting materials.  Various studies have shown the importance of multi-modal analysis for forensic and failure analysis research.

FTIR and UV-vis spectroscopy

Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy covers the absorption spectra from 190-1100 nm. Combining the information from the UV-vis region with NIR- and MIR-region absorption spectra allows researchers to characterize materials and get a deeper understanding of bonds in novel materials.

FTIR and SEM analysis

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has developed into a critical tool within numerous different research fields, spanning everything from materials science, to forensics, to industrial manufacturing, and even to the life sciences. As soon as microscopic information about the surface or near-surface region of a specimen is needed, SEM becomes a necessary tool. For that reason, the method finds applications in nearly every branch of science, technology, and industry.

FTIR and rheological property measurement

Understanding rheological phenomena on the molecular level enables researchers to speed up formulation development and process optimization.


The Thermo Scientific Rheonaut Module with the Thermo Scientific HAAKE MARS Rheometer Platform simultaneously measures rheological properties and structural changes on the molecular level using FTIR spectroscopy. The combined analysis allows extensive investigations of structural changes under deformation/shear as well as thermally induced or UV curing.