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Course Details

Course Outline
  • Introduction and overview of FTIR course and instrumentation
  • 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, 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
  • Functional group identification
  • Fluorescent lamp alignment and operation
  • Characterize bacterial morphology and size
  • Identify common aerosolizing/dispersal agents
  • Gram staining
  • Characterization of common pathogenic bacteria
  • Preparation of fluorescent probes (DAPI, SytoBC, Acridine Orange, Calcofluor, and Propidium Iodide)
  • Discuss application, benefits, and limitations of each probe
  • Making fixed/permanent sample preparation using various probes
What You Will Learn
  • Infrared theory and the origin of vibration spectroscopy
  • 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
  • Functional group identification
  • Mixtures
  • Infrared theory and the origin of vibration spectroscopy
  • How to prepare samples for fluorescence microscopy
  • How to determine that a specimen has a bacterial or other biological component
  • Recognize the viability of the specimen and determine if it is associated with a dispersal agent or may be naturally occurring
Who Should Enroll

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

Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD-CST or CST)  who respond in the event of a suspected weapon of mass destruction attack. This course provides sustainment training, but does not meet the ITRM requirement for Advanced Microscopy.

Student Learning Resources
  • Detailed course manual and hand outs
  • Two Thermo-Nicolet Continuum Microscopes attached to Nexus 470 FTIR benches
  • Each student will be assigned to an individual workstation with Olympus SZX-10 stereomicroscope.
  • All instrumentation, materials, and supplies necessary for successful completion of this course will be provided onsite by the Hooke College of Applied Sciences. If you wish to participate in the pre- and post-course online web activities associated with this course you must have access to a computer and the internet.
  • Olympus BX51 microscope with polarized light capabilities
  • The McCrone Atlas of Microscopic Particles, a free online reference aid to substance identification.
  • Modern Microscopy, a free, peer-reviewed online journal for the professional microscopist
  • All instrumentation, materials, and supplies necessary for successful completion of this course will be provided onsite by the Hooke College of Applied Sciences. If you wish to participate in the pre- and post-course online web activities associated with this course you must have access to a computer and the internet.
Suggested Prerequisites
  • Some familiarity with IR spectroscopy.
  • Some familiarity with Polarized Light Microscopy.
Satisfactory Completion Requirements

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.

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