FTIR Training Course

Course Details


Infrared Microscopy

This FTIR spectroscopy training course is designed to provide practical instruction in real world use of the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscope. This course utilizes demonstrations and laboratory exercises supplemented with lectures. Students are strongly encouraged to bring their own samples for analysis. Class size is limited to twelve students to allow for maximum student participation. Three experienced instructors lead this class, and tailor the laboratory exercises and discussions to the skill level and interests of the students.

This IR course assumes basic knowledge of infrared spectroscopy and operation of an FTIR microscope. There is a brief discussion of infrared theory, and a heavy emphasis on using FTIR microscopy in problem-solving applications. The emphasis is on student sample preparation exercises and the use of different spectral acquisition methods to obtain optimum results.

You may also be interested in our Spectral Interpretation course.

This course is part of our Industrial Microscopy Specialization.

  • Introduction and overview of FTIR course and instrumentation
  • Discussion of student background and interests
  • Brief review of basic FTIR theory and its relevance to spectral interpretation
  • FTIR microscope elements and their effect on spectra
  • What makes a good spectrum and how to obtain one
  • Sample-specific factors affecting spectral quality, mixtures, and detection limits
  • Discussion and demonstrations of various sample preparation techniques, including pyrolysis methods, microextraction techniques, compression methods, and cross-sectioning of laminates
  • Lab exercises: student preparation of samples and acquisition of spectra
  • Spectral interpretation
  • Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) and direct reflectance methods
  • Library searches
  • Additional lectures/lab depending on student interests: Raman spectroscopy, filtration of pharmaceuticals and isolation of filtered particles
  • Final review
  • Techniques for preparation of various sample types
  • Methods for obtaining the best spectrum possible from real-world samples
  • Perform evaluation of the quality of spectra

All instrumentation, materials, and supplies necessary for successful completion of this course will be provided onsite by Hooke College of Applied Sciences.

  • Detailed course manual and handouts
  • Two Thermo Scientific Nicolet Continuµm microscopes attached to Nexus 470 FTIR benches
  • Each student will be assigned to an individual workstation with an Olympus SZX10 stereomicroscope

This is a practical, hands-on course for new or experienced users, including technicians, research scientists, and lab managers, who want to improve the quality of their data and expand the types of samples that they can successfully analyze.

Students are expected to successfully complete a variety of tasks in the form of hands-on exercises, laboratory exercises, identifications of unknowns, and quizzes. Students are notified at the end of the course whether or not they have successfully completed the requirements of the course based on:

  • 100% Attendance
  • Class participation
  • Completion of all course material
  • Completed and signed student evaluation form

Upon successfully meeting these requirements, a student is awarded a certificate of completion and CEU credits, if available. Those who have not successfully passed the course requirements do not receive a certificate or CEU credits.

This course is part of the Industrial Microscopy Specialization program.

The program consists of attending four standard Hooke College of Applied Sciences courses with hands-on instruction and a 40 hour practicum study characterizing unknown samples.

  1. Polarized Light Microscopy
  2. Introduction to Scanning Electron Microscopy
  3. Sample Preparation: Particle Isolation and Handling Techniques
  4. FTIR Training

After finishing the four courses, students complete a Capstone Project that requires students to characterize and identify samples by integrating all of the skills learned during the four courses taken for the program. Those students who successfully complete the four courses and associated practicums and a Capstone Project earn an Industrial Microscopy Specialization.

Please see our General Policies page for information related to course registration and cancellation.

Upcoming Dates


October 21, 2019 - October 23, 2019
$1995 | 2 credits
M - W | 8am - 5pm
Instructors: Gretchen L. Shearer, Ph.D.; Mary L. Stellmack; Kristie J. Diebold
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