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Semiautomated Depositor for Infrared Microspectrometry

Volume 57, Number 9 (Sept. 2003) Page 1078-1086

Jarman, Jessica L.; Seerley, Shelly I.; Todebush, Richard A.; de Haseth, James A.

The measurement of minute samples is desirable in many areas of research and analysis, including biological, environmental, and forensic sciences. The use of manual solution direct deposition, combined with surface evaporation, is a very useful and convenient method for the transfer of many analytes to a spectroscopic sampling window. For Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometric analysis, high quality attenuated total reflection (ATR) and transmission analyses are possible with suitable solution deposits. If the sample area is very small, placement of the analyte deposit on the active area of the sampling accessory must be done carefully. To achieve this, a novel direct deposition system has been developed. This system, a series of valves attached to a glass nebulizer, generates deposits that are reproducible, and placement of the deposits is precise. The valves allow the sample to be loaded, helium airflow to expel the sample, and the nebulizer to be cleaned after deposition. To help contain the sample to a small area once deposition has taken place, a vacuum line is attached to the nebulizer. This simple semiautomated deposition system allows for higher sensitivity and run-to-run reproducibility for minute sample analysis.