Performance evaluation of mapping and linear imaging FTIR microspectroscopy for the characterisation of paint cross sections

Joseph, Edith; Prati, Silvia; Sciutto, Giorgia; Ioele, Marcella; Santopadre, Paola; Mazzeo, Rocco
January 2010
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Jan2010, Vol. 396 Issue 2, p899
Academic Journal
Different Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopic techniques, using attenuated total reflection (ATR) mode and single-element mercury–cadmium–telluride (MCT) detector (mapping) or multielement MCT detector (raster scanning), are compared with each other for the characterisation of inorganic compounds and organic substances in paint cross sections. All measurements have been performed on paint cross sections embedded in potassium bromide, a transparent salt in the mid-infrared region, in order to better identify the organic materials without the interference of the usual embedding resin. The limitations and advantages of the different techniques are presented in terms of spatial resolution, data quality and chemical information achieved. For all techniques, the chemical information obtained is found to be nearly identical. However, ATR mapping performed with a recently developed instrumentation shows the best results in terms of spectral quality and spatial resolution. In fact, thin organic layers (∼10 µm) have been not only identified but also accurately located. This paper also highlights the recent introduction of multielement detectors, which may represent a good compromise between mapping and imaging systems.


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