Why Purified Air Before Passing Through FTIR
FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) is a powerful analytical technique used in various fields such as chemistry, materials science, and environmental monitoring. It is commonly used to identify and analyze the chemical composition of samples based on their infrared spectra. However, before passing through the FTIR instrument, it is crucial to ensure that the air is purified to obtain accurate and reliable results. In this article, we will explore the reasons why purified air is necessary for FTIR analysis from various perspectives.
1. Elimination of Interfering Contaminants
One of the primary reasons for purifying air before passing through FTIR is to eliminate interfering contaminants. Airborne particles, such as dust, pollen, and smoke, can introduce additional spectral features that may interfere with the analysis of the sample’s infrared spectrum. By purifying the air, these contaminants can be removed, ensuring that only the desired sample’s spectrum is obtained.
Additionally, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in the air can also interfere with FTIR analysis. Purifying the air helps to minimize the concentration of VOCs, reducing the likelihood of spectral interference and enhancing the accuracy of the analysis.
2. Avoidance of Instrument Contamination
Purifying the air before it enters the FTIR instrument helps prevent instrument contamination. Airborne particles, VOCs, and other contaminants can accumulate on the optical surfaces and components of the FTIR instrument, leading to a decrease in sensitivity and accuracy over time. Purifying the air minimizes the deposition of contaminants, ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of the instrument.
3. Enhancement of Signal-to-Noise Ratio
Purified air can significantly improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the FTIR analysis. Airborne contaminants can contribute to background noise, reducing the sensitivity and detectability of the desired spectral features. By purifying the air, the background noise is minimized, allowing for better resolution and more precise identification and quantification of the sample’s infrared spectrum.
4. Reduction of Baseline Drift
Baseline drift is a common issue in FTIR analysis, where the baseline signal gradually changes over time due to various factors such as temperature fluctuations and instrument instability. Purifying the air can help minimize baseline drift by reducing the presence of contaminants that can contribute to signal fluctuations. This leads to improved baseline stability and more accurate spectral analysis.
5. Prevention of Sample Contamination
Purified air is essential to prevent sample contamination during FTIR analysis. Airborne contaminants can settle on the sample surface, altering its composition and introducing unwanted spectral features. By ensuring that the air is purified, the risk of sample contamination is minimized, allowing for more accurate and reliable analysis results.
6. Consistency and Reproducibility
Purifying the air before passing through FTIR helps to achieve consistency and reproducibility in the analysis. By minimizing the presence of interfering contaminants, instrument contamination, background noise, and baseline drift, the analysis conditions remain more stable and consistent over time. This ensures that repeated measurements of the same sample or different samples yield comparable results, enhancing the reliability and reproducibility of the FTIR analysis.
7. Compliance with Quality Assurance Standards
Purifying the air before FTIR analysis is often required to comply with quality assurance standards. Many industries, such as pharmaceuticals and environmental monitoring, have strict regulations and guidelines that mandate the use of purified air to ensure accurate and reliable analysis results. By adhering to these standards, companies can demonstrate the validity of their analytical data and meet regulatory requirements.
8. Preservation of Instrument Performance
Purified air plays a vital role in preserving the performance of the FTIR instrument. Airborne contaminants can accumulate on the optics, affecting their transmission and reflectance properties. Over time, this can lead to a decrease in instrument performance, resulting in inaccurate and unreliable analysis results. Purifying the air helps to maintain the cleanliness and integrity of the instrument, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.
In conclusion, purifying the air before passing through FTIR is essential for obtaining accurate and reliable analysis results. It helps eliminate interfering contaminants, prevent instrument and sample contamination, enhance the signal-to-noise ratio, reduce baseline drift, achieve consistency and reproducibility, comply with quality assurance standards, and preserve instrument performance. By ensuring the purity of the air, researchers and analysts can confidently analyze samples using FTIR and obtain meaningful insights into their chemical composition.