Attenuated total reflectance (ATR) has become a prominent FTIR sampling technique due to its ease of use, and its accommodation of diverse materials such as liquids, solids, pastes, gels, and powders within a single platform. In some cases having the ability to obtain a magnified view of the sampling surface enhances user efficiency and data quality because it is possible to easily find and position the sampling point, and to document the sample image. Application examples include fiber analysis, sample contamination evaluation, and small sample analysis. This article illustrates the value of FTIR-ATR with sample viewing through the analysis of an ink source on paper. Viewing capabilities assured proper sample positioning on the ATR crystal. The infrared chemical signature of three different inks on paper were compared, and the inks were differentiated.
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