Useful tips to ensure top performance of your FT- IR Spectrometer

Useful tips to ensure top performance of your FT- IR Spectrometer
FTIR_inst
Optical chamber layout of FT-IR Spectrometer (Image Courtesy : http://faculty.sdmiramar.edu/)

Your FT-IR spectrometer provides a wealth of information on structural identification and characterization of samples. In order to ensure high reliability of your results you should take care of the system as it is a highly sensitive device susceptible to changes in humidity and temperature.

Advanced features and diagnostics software tools on most systems today permit monitoring for high level of stability but if you adopt the suggested precautions you can expect a long term performance stability from your system.

FT-IR systems are extremely sensitive to increase to humidity as the optical windows are made of hygroscopic materials. Following the suggested recommendations will certainly help in prolonging the useful lifetime of your system.

  • The optical chamber should be opened only for maintenance or servicing and only authorized service persons should be allowed to open it. After opening purging with dry nitrogen gas should be carried out to remove any residual water vapour or carbon dioxide that entered the chamber during opening. It also ensures that the optical components remain protected under dry nitrogen environment for long term stability
  • Install the FT-IR in a separate chamber which is kept under controlled humidity by installing a dehumidifier of supplier recommended specifications. Entry inside the FT-IR room should be restricted
  • The instrument can be kept inside a polyacrylic sheet cabinet designed specially for the purpose which is fitted with a low wattage bulb which can be kept on when instrument is not in use. The heat of the bulb prevents condensation of moisture on the sensitive optical components
  • Do check desiccant condition using check desiccant button. Replace desiccant whenever indicated and always remember to purge with dry nitrogen subsequently
  • Check alignment of the spectrometer with the help of available software whenever the spectrometer position is shifted, major repair is carried out or there is an abrupt temperature fluctuation of more than 5°C in the laboratory
  • Check wavelength reproducibility with a polystyrene reference film that is traceable to National Physical Laboratory standard. The film should be carefully handled and stored in its container to protect from scratches or exposure to the environment.

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