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Oct 05, 2017

Shimadzu's New Compact Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrophotometers Offer Exceptional Ease-of-Use and Functionality

Shimadzu announces the release of its IRSpirit series of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometers. The two models, the IRSpirit-T and IRSpirit-L, are equipped with a dedicated IR Pilot program that simplifies analysis and, in spite of their compact size, which is smaller than an A3 size sheet of paper, provide outstanding expandability.

Despite their small footprint, these models have been engineered with a wide sample compartment that accommodates existing accessories from Shimadzu and other manufacturers. This capability makes them the smallest (installation footprint) and lightest FTIR spectrophotometers in the world that can be used with optional products from other manufacturers. They also include a program with 23 application-specific workflows that can be utilized without involving any complicated parameter setup process. Customers can select from either the IRSpirit-T model, which offers sensitivity equivalent to standard Shimadzu models, or the reasonably priced IRSpirit-L model.

Background to the Development

FTIR systems detect infrared light that is transmitted through or reflected from the sample, and then determine the wavelength components in that light by a Fourier transform process. They are used for applications such as identifying or quantifying substances contained in samples or predicting their chemical structure. In recent years, the demand for compact models has increased because they require less laboratory space. At the same time, customers have asked for systems that are highly expandable and easy to operate.

For these reasons, the development process involved both hardware and software. From a hardware perspective, the new systems, despite being one third the size of Shimadzu’s standard model, have the same sample compartment width. For software, a new program allows operators with minimal analytical experience to acquire high-quality data. These models are primarily being marketed to pharmaceutical, chemical, and food industries, and academic institutions.


1. Compact, Yet Highly Expandable

The installation footprint is 390 mm wide and 250 mm deep, which is smaller than an A3 size sheet of paper, and the main unit weighs only 8.5 kg. Despite their compact size, they have a large sample compartment that can accommodate existing Shimadzu or third-party accessories, making them the world's smallest (footprint) and lightest FTIR systems capable of using optional products from other manufacturers. Furthermore, the unique design allows the system to be placed vertically in narrow spaces, with the main unit rotated 90 degrees, so that the 250 mm wide side surface is oriented toward the front.

2. Dedicated IR Pilot Program Offers 23 Application-Specific Workflows

A newly developed IR Pilot program allows users to quickly start 23 different analysis workflows for such applications as identification tests, contaminant analysis, quantitative analysis, and film thickness calculations. The program can be executed by simply selecting the purpose and techniques for analysis, which enables inexperienced FTIR operators to easily start analysis. The program also includes functionality for registering previously performed analyses, which simplifies the process for frequently performed analyses.

3. System Configurations Can Be Optimized for the Specific Purpose and Environment of Use

The window plate can be replaced with a specialized window plate that protects the optics from high temperatures and humidity. Installing Shimadzu's unique contaminant library or thermally degraded plastics library allows the system to be used for contaminant analysis. Furthermore, the system is controlled via Shimadzu's analysis data management system, LabSolutions. This allows integrated management of data with analytical instruments from other manufacturers by connecting them via a network.

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