Infra Red Microscopy


The Infra-red Spectro-Microscope consists of an Equinox 55

Infra-red spectrometer and an IRscope II microscope. The instrument operates over a wave number range of 7500-370 cm-1. It can operate as an infrared imaging microscope with liquid nitrogen cooled MCT detectors, offering mid-band and narrow-band detection.

The Spectro-Microscope has 3 operational modes: Transmission, Reflection and Absorbance.  It is possible to observe the sample using both infra-red and visible light.

The microscope can be controlled automatically using the OPUS software. The software is equipped with a Mapping Function which allows analysis across a distance of a sample, e.g. food packaging laminates, phase-separated polymers and minerals. Other options include Quant, Video and 3D packages.

This facility extends the traditional FTIR spectroscopy technique to enable very small samples (down to sub-nanogram quantities) to be studied. In transmission or reflectance mode it is possible to obtain an infra-red spectrum from an area as small as 20µm diameter. Transmission mode requires thin sections but for reflectance mode little or no preparation is required. The working distance is 24mm and the complete visual field is 900 µm in diameter using the standard objective (15x).

The spectrometer is installed with 2 air cooled infra-red sources, one near infra-red and the other mid infra-red. The instrument is also equipped with a motorised stage, temperature stage control, KBr and Quartz beamsplitters and a video camera.

A wide range of samples can be analysed using IR microscopy including pharmaceuticals, catalysts, minerals, composites, metals surfaces, semiconductors, art work, plant leaves, animal tissue, cells and more.

Work at the Centre for Advanced Microscopy which has involved infra-red microscopy has included viewing archaeological wall paintings, phase separated polymers, apple pips and cereal grain with this instrument.

The instrument can also operate as a stand alone IR spectrometer using the DTGS detector at room temperature.




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