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Subject: FTIR


From: Ute Henniges <ute.henniges<-a>
Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Valerie Tomlinson <vtomlinson<-a t->aucklandmuseum< . >com> writes

>I am looking into getting an FTIR for our conservation lab ...
>At the ICOM-CC trade show, Bruker had a very interesting model that
>looked like it would suit our needs, and is much cheaper than
>anything else I looked at so far.  Have you encountered their FTIRs
>in a museum setting?  If so, how were they?
>I like the idea of a relatively portable model that is easy to use
>for non-technical staff, and has non-destructive, reflectance
>spectra capabilities.  I'm thinking of the kind where you can place
>it in front of an object and analyse the object's surface without
>any sampling or interference.  How much does surface dirt matter in
>these circumstances?  Do you still get readable spectra? ...

We have a "Bruker Alpha" (not sure if you meant this device or
another one) that is used to familiarize students with Attenuated
Total Reflection FTIR-spectroscopy.  The instrument is carried
around easily and I bring it to lectures so that the students can
take their own spectra of materials (polysaccharides, polylactic
acid, but also synthetic polymers) they bring along with the aim to
identify unknowns. It works nicely for that purpose, even though the
spectra are noisier than the ones taken from the bench instruments.
The samples we have analyzed so far are not particularly dirty (just
the usual dust and finger prints), thus I cannot comment on that
aspect.  You did not mention which type of materials you are
interested in, but if they have rather compressible surfaces, e.g.
paper, the non-destructiveness of the method is questionable, as
some dents or shiny spots on the surface might be visible after
taking the spectra because high pressure is needed to establish
close contact between your sample and the ATR-crystal.

You were also wondering about spectral libraries.  According to my
experience the available libraries are only useful for
pharmaceutical purposes.  Most softwares however allow building your
own libraries with reference material of interest and importance to
your collection.

Dr. Dipl.Rest. Ute Henniges
Universitat fur Bodenkultur
Konrad Lorenz Strasse 24
A-3430 Tulln
+43 1 47654 6453

                  Conservation DistList Instance 28:25
                 Distributed: Friday, November 21, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-28-25-003
Received on Tuesday, 18 November, 2014

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