E24: Collecting Infrared Spectra and Avoiding the Pitfalls

One-Day Course
Date to be Announced; 8:30am – 5:00pm

Dr. Ellen Miseo, Miseo Consulting
Dr. Jeff D’Agostino, Specac, Inc.

Users of FT-IR spectrometers may have received little or no formal training in spectroscopy and therefore cannot distinguish between “good” and “bad” spectra.  In this course, we will show many of the problems that are commonly encountered with FT-IR spectra measured by users and show how to avoid them.  Problems can appear from the instrument, the sample accessory, post processing and the sample itself.  We will discuss all the potential sources of errors. We also will have a hands-on component where the principles will be demonstrated on a commercial instrument including accessory sampling errors and improper data processing. We will also discuss “tips and tricks” that may never be found in a book but make your analysis easier.

This course is designed for scientists and engineers running infrared spectra who want to understand what constitute good spectra and how to achieve that using a variety of sampling techniques.  It is particularly aimed at those students who are not familiar with all the sampling techniques available and how they impact the quality of the spectrum.

  1. Instrument Issues
    a. How to diagnose instrument problems
    b. The impact of the lab environment on the instrument and spectra
    c. Optimizing data collection parameters to save time and get good spectra
  2. Reflection Spectroscopy Including ATR, Diffuse Reflection and Reflection Absorption
    a. The effect of poor contact on internal reflection elements
    b. Not fully covering the beam in an internal reflection element
    c. The effect of front surface reflection on diffuse reflection spectra
  3. Measurement Effects
    a. Spectral shifts introduced on vignetting (changing the beam diameter or shape)
    b. The effect of resolution on interpretation and spectral searching
  4. Transmission Spectroscopy
    a. The effect of scattering, excessively thick samples, temperature changes and air bubbles on solution spectra
    b. The effect of atmospheric water vapor and carbon dioxide
    c. Interference fringes
  5. Artifacts and Identifying Them
    a. Artifacts seen on spectral subtraction
    b. Band distortions encountered during the measurement of polymer fibers
    c. Band distortions from all types of reflection spectra

Ellen Miseo has practiced infrared spectroscopy for her entire career.  Her primary interest is in infrared microscopy and infrared imaging.  Her accomplishments include development of equipment as well as foreseeing customer trends and adapting to them.  Dr. Miseo is Past President (2016) of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy and a member of the Coblentz Society and the American Chemical Society

Jeff D’Agostino is the Business Development Executive for Specac Inc. He has been in the FT-IR accessory business for 35 years. Working for the three of the top four FT-IR accessory companies. Jeff graduated from Central Connecticut State College (now University) with a bachelor’s in chemistry. Also, from Norwalk State Technical College with an Associates in Chemical Engineering, Having many positions as applications chemist, customer support, product manager, product training, sales and marketing. Participated in the concept, design and function of new IR accessories. This gives him a broad background in FT-IR accessories. Has been an invited speaker at many OEM workshops, webinars, IR Courses, presenting at trade shows, authoring posters, and co-authoring papers. Worked alongside many of the respected professionals in the industry. Jeff is a member of the Coblentz Society, Society for Applied Spectroscopy and ACS