Near-Infrared Absorption Spectroscopy (NIR)


NIR spectroscopy is the measurement of the wavelength and intensity of the absorption of near-infrared light by a sample. Near-infrared light spans the 800 nm - 2.5 Ám (12,500 - 4000 cm-1) range and is energetic enough to excite overtones and combinations of molecular vibrations to higher energy levels. NIR spectroscopy is typically used for quantitative measurement of organic functional groups, especially O-H, N-H, and C=O. Detection limits are typically 0.1% and applications include pharmaceutical, agricultural, polymer, and clinical analysis.


The components and design of NIR instrumentation are similar to uv-vis absorption spectrometers. The light source is usually a tungsten lamp and the detector is usually a PbS solid-state detector. Sample holders can be glass or quartz and typical solvents are CCl4 and CS2. The convenient instrumentation of NIR spectroscopy compared to IR spectroscopy makes it much more suitable for on-line monitoring and process control.

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updated 2/24/96