intensity of transflected radiation, without sample intensity of transmitted and reflected radiation measured with the sample,

I0 = intensity of incident radiation, I = intensity of transmitted radiation,

Diffuse reflection mode. The diffuse reflection mode gives a measure of reflectance (R), the ratio of the intensity of light reflected from the sample (I) to that reflected from a background or reference reflective surface (Ir). NIR radiation can penetrate a substantial distance into the sample, where it can be absorbed by vibrational combinations and overtone resonances of the analyte species present in the sample. Non-absorbed radiation is reflected back from the sample to the detector. NIR reflectance spectra are typically obtained by calculating and plotting log (1/R) versus the wavelength or wavenumbers.


Transmission mode. The measurement of transmittance (J) is dependent on a background transmittance spectrum for its calculation. A background reference can be air, an empty cell, and a solvent blank or in special cases a reference sample. The method generally applies to liquids, diluted or undiluted, dispersions, solutions and solids. For transmittance measurements of solids, a suitable sample accessory is to be used. The samples are examined in a cell of suitable pathlength (generally 0.5-4 mm), transparent to NIR radiation, or by immersion of a fibre optic probe of a suitable configuration, which yields a spectrum situated in a zone of transmission compatible with the specifications of the apparatus and appropriate for the intended purpose.

Diffuse reflection mode. This method generally applies to solids. The sample is examined in a suitable device. Care must be taken to make the measuring conditions as reproducible as possible from one sample to another. When immersing a fibre optic probe in the sample, care must be taken in the positioning of the probe to ensure that it remains stationary during the acquisition of the spectra and that the measuring conditions are as reproducible as possible from one sample to another. The reflected radiation of a background reference is scanned to obtain the baseline, and then the reflectance of one or more analytical samples is measured. Common reflectance references are ceramic tiles, perfluorinated polymers and gold. Other suitable materials may be used. Only spectra measured against a background possessing the same optical properties can be directly compared with one another. The particle size, water of hydration and state of solvation must be taken into consideration.

Transflection mode. A reflector is placed behind the sample so as to double the pathlength. This configuration can be adopted to share the same instrument geometry with reflectance and fibre optic probe systems where the source and the detector are on the same side of the sample. The sample is examined in a cell with a mirror or a suitable diffusive reflector, made either of metal or of an inert substance (for example titanium dioxide) not absorbing in the NIR region.

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