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Fourier transform–infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy has become a very popular technique because of its ability to analyze such a broad range of chemicals and compounds.
Fourier transform–infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy has become a very popular technique because of its ability to analyze such a broad range of chemicals and compounds. Its application to microscopy and the subsequent development of imaging FT-IR have also found numerous uses. Technological improvements have resulted in the development of the FT-IR imaging market into a significant segment of the overall FT-IR spectroscopy market.
FT-IR imaging demand by industry for 2009.
FT-IR microscopes are useful because they are able to characterize very small regions of a sample, which is of value when the inspection of a small defect, inhomogeneity, or feature on a sample is required. However, these areas of interest on a variety of types of samples can be much larger, and mapping of the sample provides far more helpful information for research or quality analysis. While more conventional microscope instruments can perform limited mapping applications, they are quite slow. The development of imaging FT-IR systems, which can map samples much more quickly, was hindered initially by the limitations of current detector and electronics technology. Over the past decade, FT-IR imaging systems have overcome such limitations to offer robust instruments with performance comparable to conventional microscopy and spectrophotometer systems.
In 2009, the global market for FT-IR imaging systems was about $30 million, and it is expected to see growth slightly higher than for conventional FT-IR microscopes, despite the relatively high cost of imaging systems. The analysis of pharmaceutical tablets remains one of the key applications, but analyses of polymer coatings, semiconductors, biomedical samples, and forensics analysis have also become major uses for the technique.
The foregoing data were extracted from SDi's market analysis and perspectives report titled "The Global Assessment Report 11th Edition: The Laboratory Life Science and Analytical Instrument Industry," September 2010. For more information, contact Stuart Press, Vice President, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, (310) 641-4982, fax: (310) 641-8851, www.strategic-directions.com