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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department of Mineral Sciences

Izalco Volcano
Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers are able to measure and quantify the amount of infrared radiation (IR) that is absorbed by molecular species such as OH, H2O and CO2 in minerals, volcanic glasses, plastics and many chemicals. In our applications, minerals are powdered and combined with IR transparent material (usually potassium bromide) or individual mineral or glass grains, often microscopic, are wafered and highly polished on both sides. Systems are purged with dry, CO2-free air to eliminate atmospheric contribution to the spectra. Recently we have added liquid nitrogen freezing capability to a special (Linkham) sample stage that can also heat samples.

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