Ocean Optics UV-Vis spectrometers, Raman instruments and NIR systems are excellent options for polymer characterization. Our modular spectrometers and accessories can be configured for applications as diverse as investigation of polymer molecular structure and degradation analysis of natural polymers. Our customers measured synthetic and natural polymers, including plastics such as polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride and materials such as cellulose and rubber.
With our modular approach, the instrumentation is robust and flexible enough for use in lab settings, on process lines and within other analytical devices. For example, polymers used in plastics have unique NIR spectral fingerprints that can be used for sorting and identifying polymer resins prior to extrusion and later for sorting of discarded products at recycling facilities. Similarly rich spectral features of various polymers can be obtained through UV-Vis spectroscopy and Raman analysis.
Feasibility testing reveals the effectiveness of transmission spectroscopy for measuring frosting levels applied to plastic tubing samples. Read the App Note.
Example Setup: Raman Analysis of Polymers and Other Materials
Raman spectroscopy offers benefits for testing and characterization of a variety of materials including polymers, where it’s useful for investigating molecular structure. Like regular IR spectroscopy, Raman is rapid and non-destructive. Raman can capture data from a sample contained in plastic or other materials that are optically transparent to the wavelengths of interest.
Ocean Optics offers fully integrated Raman systems for handheld and laboratory applications, as well as modular setups anchored by our high-sensitivity CCD arrays. A modular setup is described here.
We offer a QE series spectrometer that’s preconfigured for 785 nm Raman analysis, making it an excellent option for chemical identification and fingerprinting. The spectrometer is preset with a grating optimized for Raman response, gold mirrors to increase sensitivity in the optical bench, and a 50 µm slit to maintain good resolution. The setup provides coverage from ~780-1100 nm.
Excitation Laser and Sampling Optics
For 785 nm Raman excitation, we recommend a LASER-785 series multimode laser. Options are available with FC or SMA 905 fiber-coupled output power. Custom excitation wavelengths are also available.
Raman setups typically include a probe and sample holder. In the example setup, we selected an RIP-RPB-785-SMA-FC fiber probe and the RIP-PA-SH Raman sample holder. Safety glasses (LASER-GL-ML1), which are suitable for use with 785 nm, 808 nm and 1064 nm lasers, complete the system.
Raman Analysis System Components
|QE Pro-RAMAN||QE series spectrometer preconfigured for 785 nm Raman analysis; modular options for 532 nm and other wavelengths are also available|
|LASER-785-LAB-ADJ||785 nm diode laser for Raman excitation; 532 nm and other options are available|
|RIP-RPB-785-SMA-FC||Raman coupled fiber probe for 785 nm with FC Excitation -SMA Collection; 7.5 mm working distance|
|RIP-PA-SH||Raman sample holder|
|LASER-GL-ML1||Laser safety glasses block 785 nm/808 nm/1064 nm lasers; OD 7+, VLT 45% Green|
|OceanView||Spectrometer operating software|
|RAM-ANIQ-LAB||Single-license chemometrics package from Analyze IQ|
Absorbance of polystyrene particles varies by particle size.
Thin film measurement techniques are useful in determining spectral characteristics of polymer samples.
NIR spectroscopy is used to measure colored resins comprising different polymers.
Nylon samples were evaluated for reflectance using a probe positioned at 90 degrees to the sample surface.