Interpretation of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectra (FTIR): A Practical Approach in the Polymer/Plastic Thermal Decomposition

Asep Bayu Dani Nandiyanto, Risti Ragadhita, Meli Fiandini


Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) is one of the tools to represent molecular structure based on atomic vibration. It can denote a specific property of the chemical bond and molecular structure in the material, especially when analyzing specimens relating to plastics, polymers, and organic components. The FTIR peaks and spectrum act as a fingerprint of a specific molecular structure and chemical bonding, which need a sufficient reference database to distinguish them. This paper is to address issues of the need for a reference database of FTIR. This paper exhibits step-by-step information on how to read and interpret the FTIR spectra and identify a molecule's backbone with its functional groups. Practical examples from the analysis of several plastics/polymers and the thermally decomposing plastics/polymers were included to help and guide the reader to comprehend the basic concept of FTIR spectra.


Atomic bonding; Chemical engineering; Decomposition characteristics; Engineering; Functional group; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; Molecular structure; Plastic; Polymer

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