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A New Method to Obtain Fourier Transform Infrared Spectra Free from Water Vapor Disturbance

Volume 64, Number 10 (Oct. 2010) Page 1186-1189

Chen, Yujing; Wang, Hai-Shui; Umemura, Junzo

Infrared absorption bands due to water vapor in the mid-infrared regions often obscure important spectral features of the sample. Here, we provide a novel method to collect a qualified infrared spectrum without any water vapor interference. The scanning procedure for a single-beam spectrum of the sample is divided into two stages under an atmosphere with fluctuating humidity. In the first stage, the sample spectrum is measured with approximately the same number of scans as the background. If the absorbance of water vapor in the spectrum is positive (or negative) at the end of the first stage, then the relative humidity in the sample compartment of the spectrometer is changed by a dry (or wet) air blow at the start of the second stage while the measurement of the sample spectrum continues. After the relative humidity changes to a lower (or higher) level than that of the previously collected background spectrum, water vapor peaks will become smaller and smaller with the increase in scanning number during the second stage. When the interfering water lines disappear from the spectrum, the acquisition of a sample spectrum is terminated. In this way, water vapor interference can finally be removed completely.