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Proceedings Paper

Use Of The Diamond Cell In An Industrial Laboratory
Author(s): R. L. Barbour; J. D. Stephens; D. G. Cameron
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Paper Abstract

The traditional method for recording the IR spectra of solids has been KBr pellet transmission spectroscopy. This technique has several disadvantages: sample preparation time, matrix contamination, spectral distortion, ion exchange, a limited spectral range, scattering, loss of sample integrity during grinding, etc. In recent years, diffuse reflectance, ATR, photoacoustic reflectance, and external reflectance have been used increasingly, facilitated by the high SNR of FT instruments. In many cases, the diamond cell is an attractive alternative to all of these. The spectral range is -100 -1 to the UV, excluding the 2200-2000 cm -1 region. Spectral distortion, usually a great problem with inorganics, is greatly reduced as a result of sample homogeneity (from a spectral point of view) and refractive index matching. There is no matrix contamination: scattering, background slope, and all absorption bands are from the sample. There is no ion exchange. The sample size requirements are minimal. Finally, sample preparation requires the somewhat lost. but powerful, art of microscopic examination. In some instances, there may be sample orientation or pressure induced phase changes associated with the use of the diamond cell. A common misconception is that an IR microscope is needed to use the diamond cell. In fact, ~5 minutes will suffice without a beam condenser; 1 minute is all that is needed with one. In part, this is because one usually has excellent control of the optical thickness; with experience, the cell can easily be assembled to give bands in the 0.7-1.5 absorbance range, and making the sample thinner merely involves pressing the diamonds together. Given the above, the microscope should only be used for inhomogeneous samples as one loses all information below 700 cm-1, the region of greatest value when studying inorganics. We also note that the cell can readily be moved from a mid-IR to a far-IR bench. We have moved to the point where this is the dominant sampling technique, with ATR being the next most important. Diffuse reflectance and KBr pellets are seldom used. The cell has been used on inorganics (mid and far IR) including extremely small pure mineral samples selected by hand. It is also used for polymers, polymer inclusions, filter deposits, pure (and not so puce) organics, and general "what is this stuff" samples. Examples of a wide variety of analyses will be given.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 December 1989
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 1145, 7th Intl Conf on Fourier Transform Spectroscopy, (1 December 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.969387
Show Author Affiliations
R. L. Barbour, BP Research (United States)
J. D. Stephens, BP Research (United States)
D. G. Cameron, BP Research (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1145:
7th Intl Conf on Fourier Transform Spectroscopy

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