Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR) is today the most widely used FTIR sampling tool. ATR generally allows qualitative or quantitative analysis of samples with little or no sample preparation, which greatly speeds sample analysis. The main benefit of ATR sampling comes from the very thin sampling pathlength and depth of penetration of the IR beam into the sample. This is in contrast to traditional FTIR sampling by transmission where the sample must be diluted with IR transparent salt, pressed into a pellet or pressed to a thin film, prior to analysis to prevent totally absorbing bands in the infrared spectrum.
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