A major concern with the use of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy in many QA/QC laboratories is the need for a simple reliable method of verifying the wavelength accuracy of the instrument. This requirement is particularly important in near-infrared spectroscopy because of the heavy reliance on sophisticated statistical vector analysis techniques to extract the desired information from the spectra. These techniques require precise alignment of the data points between the vectors corresponding to the standard and sample spectra. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers a Standard Reference Material (SRM 1921) for the verification and calibration of mid-infrared spectrometers in the transmittance mode. This standard consists of a 38 mu m-thick film of polystyrene plastic. While SRM 1921 works well as a mid-infrared standard, a thicker sample is required for use as a routine standard in the near-infrared spectral region. The general acceptance and proven reliability of polystyrene as a standard reference material make it a very good candidate for a cost-effective NIR standard that could be offered as an internal reference for every instrument. In this paper we discuss a number of the parameters in a Fourier transform (FT)-NIR instrument that can affect wavelength accuracy. We also report a number of experiments designed to determine the effects of resolution, sample position, and optics on the wavelength accuracy of the system. In almost all cases the spectral reproducibility was better than one wavenumber of the values extrapolated from the NIST reference material. This finding suggests that a thicker sample of polystyrene plastic that has been validated with the SRM 1921 standard would make a cost-effective reference material for verifying wavelength accuracy in a medium-resolution FTNIR spectrometer. Index Headings: FT-NIR; Wavelength calibration; Instrument validation.
Stephen R. Lowry, Jim Hyatt, and William J. McCarthy, "Determination of Wavelength Accuracy in the Near-Infrared Spectral Region Based on NIST's Infrared Transmission Wavelength Standard SRM 1921," Appl. Spectrosc. 54, 450-455 (2000)