Internal reflection spectroscopy has a number of advantages over other spectroscopic techniques. It can be used with liquid or solid samples, and little or no sample preparation is required. Since it is necessary only to bring the sample in contact with the sampling surface of an internal reflection element (IRE), sample handling is much simpler than it is for other techniques. This is especially important for very small samples (e.g., microgram and nanogram quantities), for which there is currently very wide interest. Furthermore, it has been shown that the interaction of the light (electromagnetic wave), under the right conditions, is stronger for internal reflection than it is for transmission or external specular reflection. Therefore, because of the above-mentioned advantages, internal reflection is the preferred method of micro- and nanosampling.
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