Historically near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy has enjoyed significant success as the industrial ‘cousin’ of the mid-infrared FTIR spectrometer. Most NIR spectrometers are significantly more rugged than their MIR counterparts, and are therefore suited for use as a QA/QC tool. Sample preparation is trivial or non-existent for most solid-state or liquid samples and data collection is rapid, while still achieving excellent signal to noise. All these factors combine to produce an analytical measurement technology with widespread applicability. Until relatively recently, its capabilities as a microspectroscopy and chemical imaging tool has been largely underutilized. Most NIR spectra have been collected from bulk, not microspectroscopic samples.
Mid-infrared (MIR) microscopy, based on a Fourier Transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, has been the infrared microspectroscopy technique most readily available up to now. It is a broadly employed chemical identification tool that is used to complement traditional light microscopy.