Abstract

The transflection technique offers significant potential for both qualitative and quantitative analysis in the mid-infrared region. The higher sensitivity for bands in the mid-infrared provides a distinct advantage over the lower absorbance values typically encountered in the near-infrared region. Other advantages, such as small sample size and little sample preparation, make this technique a good candidate for the analysis of forensic substances. Small amounts of illegal drugs such as cocaine can be reliably and nondestructively identified with little or no sample preparation. With the approach to transflection described in this paper, single grains can be quickly identified by simply placing the sample on a specially designed substrate and recording the Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrum. Transflection was applied to the qualitative analysis of aqueous solutions and solid particles using relatively simple equipment in conjunction with a commercially available diffuse reflection accessory. Improvements in both equipment and technique are discussed. Extensions of the equipment into two new forms, with potential uses in proteomics and forensics, are introduced.

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