The number of techniques and instruments available for Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) microspectroscopic imaging has grown significantly over the past few years. Attenuated total internal reflectance (ATR) FT-IR microspectroscopy reduces sample preparation time and has simplified the analysis of many difficult samples. FT-IR imaging has become a powerful analytical tool using either a focal plane array or a linear array detector, especially when coupled with a chemometric analysis package. The field of view of the ATR-IR microspectroscopic imaging area can be greatly increased from 300 × 300 μm to 2500 × 2500 μm using a larger internal reflection element of 12.5 mm radius instead of the typical 1.5 mm radius. This gives an area increase of 70× before aberrant effects become too great. Parameters evaluated include the change in penetration depth as a function of beam displacement, measurements of the active area, magnification factor, and change in spatial resolution over the imaging area. Drawbacks such as large file size will also be discussed. This technique has been successfully applied to the FT-IR imaging of polydimethylsiloxane foam cross-sections, latent human fingerprints, and a model inorganic mixture, which demonstrates the usefulness of the method for pharmaceuticals.

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