Abstract

Four major trends will characterize the evolution of Fourier transform spectroscopy's analytical laboratory applications in the remaining seventies and early eighties: (1) A more thorough analysis of the nonidealities of real FT-IR systems will allow the quantitative accuracy of FT-IR to approach its SNR capability, or to be corrected to this level. (2) The power of FT methods is severely mismatched to current practice and habits in the infrared analytical laboratory. New operating procedures, combination techniques such as GCIR (a much better match to FT-IR capabilities) and more demanding spectroscopic techniques, will become more common. In the wake of this development, greater emphasis will be placed on automatic sample preparation and interpretation. (3) At the same time, the importance of spectra as the final output of spectroscopic measurements will decrease. Instead, higher order spectroscopic functions, or even final analytical data, will become a frequent instrumental output, with or without high level operator interaction. (4) The domain of application of Fourier transform spectroscopy will see steady extension into new spectral regions, such as the near infrared and UV-VIS regions, while its extension to Raman spectroscopy still appears elusive. The analysis embodies a strong conservative bias, in that it excludes from consideration the consequences of new technology. This also insures its relevance to currently existing instrumentation.

© 1978 Optical Society of America

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