Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Laboratory
Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is used to determine qualitative and quantitative features, as well as structural characteristics, of organic and inorganic molecules in solids, liquids, gases, and on surfaces. Our lab is equipped with a Bruker Vertex 70 (bench) and a Hyperion 3000 (microscope) for applications in reflectance or transmission modes in the mid to near IR range. The stage of the microscope can be used for sample mapping from the micron to the millimeter scale either using the standard mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) detector, or with the focal-plan array (FPA) detector. The main application of this FTIR in our research is to measure trace quantities of "light elements" (for example hydrogen, carbon) in silicate minerals and glasses. The latter come from natural samples (meteorites, terrestrial rocks) or experiments (high-temperature and high-pressure analogues of planetary interiors). The FTIR is also used in phase identification of inter-planetary dust and primitive materials. These results help constrain solar system composition, and planetary formation, interior geodynamics, and volcanism.