FT-IR Microspectroscopy Accessory for Microanalysis Techniques - SurveyIR™

Designed in order to deliver the perfect experience for users undertaking a large range of microanalysis techniques, the SurveryIR™ is a new FT-IR Microspectroscopy accessory.

Seamless interactions between the operator and the instrument are enabled by the unique ergonomic design. In the FT-IR spectrometer sample compartment, simple mounting is facilitated by the SurveyIR’s compact configuration and alignment-free optical design.

A high resolution color video camera produces research grade visual images. Quick specimen location and alignment in transmission, reflection, and Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) viewing modes is facilitated by high depth of field viewing optics.

An excellent contrast is created over a wide range of specimen morphologies by a choice of three onboard illumination modes. Target manipulation is simplified by unsurpassed viewing quality through the diamond ATR, which also ensures fantastic sample/ATR coupling, including the visualization of sample contact.

Visualization and interaction with the specimen during observation of the IR spectrum is enabled by simultaneous viewing and IR spectroscopy.

In ATR, transmission, and reflection modes, the FT-IR spectrometer onboard detector leverages IR performance. Image display, capture, manipulation, storage, and documentation is facilitated by eSpotTM software. The interface for illumination mode selection, IR mode selection, and sample size by user choice of six masking aperture settings is also provided by eSpot.

Manual adjustment of standard microscope controls – including 1 x 3 inch travel x, y stage, condenser focus, and coarse/fine focus – accomplishes sample manipulation.

Key Features

  • User installed in the FT-IT spectrometer sample compartment
  • IR Reflection, Attenuated Total Reflection, Diamond, Ge, ZnSe and transmission modes available
  • Uses on board FT-IR spectrometer detector
  • 2X optical magnification yields .7 μm/pixel at sample plane
  • Transmission, reflection, and oblique illumination modes
  • 5 mega pixel CMOS color video camera, 2592 x 1944 maximum resolution
  • Variable IR mask – 2000 μm, 250 μm, 200 μm, 160 μm, 100 μm or, 60 μm fixed diameter
  • eSpotTM software control of visual illumination modes, visible illumination intensity, ATR contact alert, IR mask selection, and IR transmission/reflection modes
  • Manual x, y stage fits 1" x 3" standard microscope slides
  • Accommodates commercially available transmission cells including diamond compression cells
  • Manual coarse/fine z stage focus adjust, ¹⁄₃" minimum working distance ¹⁄₂" maximum travel
  • Dimensions - 13.2" depth x 4.3" width x 10.5" height, 10 lb weight

Benzocaine anesthetic crystal film top - video micrograph

Benzocaine anesthetic crystal film top - video micrograph


Documented in our watersheds since as long ago as the 1970s, microplastics are one of the major components of marine pollution. The primary components of microplastics are organic polymers which are easily characterized with the use of infrared (IR) spectroscopy.

From waters close to New York City, an unknown red fiber was collected. Fig.1 shows the IR spectra for this fiber. This indicated that the major component of the fiber (top, red) closely resembles the library match of polypropylene copolymer (bottom, purple). The source of the red fiber contaminant may well have been a carpet, as polypropylene copolymers are often used in the manufacturing of carpets.

IR spectra of the flattened red fiber (top, red) and the top library match (bottom, purple). Inset: Red fiber (approx. 60 μm in diameter) viewed in transmitted illumination using the SurveyIR microscope.

Figure 1. IR spectra of the flattened red fiber (top, red) and the top library match (bottom, purple). Inset: Red fiber (approx. 60 μm in diameter) viewed in transmitted illumination using the SurveyIR microscope.

Drug Substances

Quick and efficient identification of the majority of illegal drug substances can be provided by FTIR spectroscopy. The SurveyIR microscope accessory was used to identify a white powder sample taken from a crime scene. The infrared spectrum measured from sample spot 1 was compared to a library of infrared spectra which is commercially available. Fig. 3 shows the results of this comparison. The high correlation indicated in the top match was found to be heroin – scientifically known as diacetylmorphine HCL.

(Top) IR spectra of sample spot 1 and the corresponding top library match, Heroin HCl.

Figure 2. (Top) IR spectra of sample spot 1 and the corresponding top library match, Heroin HCl.


Another area in which fast and accurate analysis is vital is the identification of explosives. Via the mixing of diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate, it is possible to make a type of improvised explosive. It is important to differentiate between fertilizer and potential improvised explosives when suspect material is located.

Shown in Fig. 3, both liquid and particulate portions of the sample can be seen when viewed under the SurveryIR. The transmission spectra of both components were measured at the locations marked as 1 and 2 in Fig. 3. Spot 3 (Fig. 3, 1) was consistent with a commercial library spectrum of ammonium nitrate.

Spot 4 (Fig. 3, 2) closely resembled a sample of diesel fuel or other long chain hydrocarbons. A powerful explosive can be made through the addition of diesel fuel to ammonia nitrate fertilizer, a well-known technique amongst terrorists and others intent on causing harm. Only through the fast and accurate identification of this mixture was a crisis able to be averted.

IR spectra of the two areas shown in the inset image.

Figure 3. IR spectra of the two areas shown in the inset image.

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