The application of attenuated total reflection surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy (ATR SEIRA) to the analysis of fatty acids on silver nanoparticles was investigated. Attenuated total reflection measurements using four types of internal reflection elements (IREs)—zinc selenide, diamond, silicon, and germanium—were performed for silver nanoparticles modified with fatty acids, and germanium IRE was shown to be suitable for the analysis of silver nanoparticles, even when the sample had a high refractive index. Fatty acids coating the silver nanoparticles could be directly identified by SEIRA enhancement, because both symmetric carboxylate stretching vibration and methylene wagging vibration were strongly detected. Furthermore, the peak positions for methylene wagging vibration differed depending on the carbon number of the fatty acid, so that information from the ATR SEIRA spectra makes it possible to identify substances coating silver nanoparticles. Therefore, ATR SEIRA would appear to have significant potential as a technique for the identification of substances coated on metal nanoparticle surfaces.
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