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Single and multiple reflection crystals

Multiple reflection ATR was initially more popular than single reflection ATR because of the weak absorbances associated with single reflection ATR. More reflections increased the evanescent wave interaction with the sample, which was believed to increase the signal to noise ratio of the spectrum. When IR spectrometers developed better spectral contrast, single reflection ATR became more popular. The number of reflections and spectral contrast increases with the length of the crystal and decreases with the angle of incidence as well as thickness. Within multiple reflection crystals some of the light is transmitted and some is reflected as the light exits the crystal, resulting in some of the light going back through the crystal for a round trip. Therefore, light exiting the ATR crystal contains components that experienced different number of reflections at the crystal-sample interface.

Angle of incidence

It was more common in earlier instruments to allow selection of the incident angle, sometimes offering selection between 30°, 45°, and 60°. In all cases for total internal reflection to hold, the angle of incidence must exceed the critical angle and ideally complement the angle of the crystal edge so that the light enters at a normal angle of incidence. These days 45° is the standard angle on most ATR-FTIR setups.

Atr crystal shape

For the most part ATR crystals will have a trapezoidal shape as shown in [link] . This shape facilitates sample preparation and handling on the crystal surface by enabling the optical setup to be placed below the crystal. However, different crystal shapes ( [link] ) may be used for particular purposes, whether it is to achieve multiple reflections or reduce the spot size. For example, a hemispherical crystal may be used in a microsampling experiment in which the beam diameter can be reduced at no expense to the light intensity. This allows appropriate measurement of a small sample without compromising the quality of the resulting spectral features.

An assortment of ATR crystal shapes: a)triangular, b)hemispherical, c)parallelogram, d) trapezoidal, e) pentagonal, f)cylindrical. Adapted from F. M. Mirabella, Internal reflection spectroscopy: Theory and applications , 15, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York (1993).

Crystal-sample contact

Because the path length of the evanescent wave is confined to the interface between the ATR crystal and sample, the sample should make firm contact with the ATR crystal ( [link] ). The sample sits atop the crystal and intimate contact can be ensured by applying pressure above the sample. However, one must be mindful of the ATR crystal hardness. Too much pressure may distort the crystal and affect the reproducibility of the resulting spectrum.

A close-up image of an ATR accessory attached to a Nexus 670 FTIR.

Wavelength dependency

The wavelength effect expressed in [link] shows an increase in penetration depth at increased wavelength. In terms of wavenumbers the relationship becomes inverse. At 4000 cm -1 penetration of the sample is 10x less than penetration at 400 cm -1 meaning the intensity of the peaks may appear higher at lower wavenumbers in the absorbance spectrum compared to the spectral features in a transmission FTIR spectrum (if an automated correction to the ATR setup is not already in place).

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
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Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply

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