Chemical Imaging of Multi-layered Laminates

Multi-layer polymer films can be an important part of maintaining product integrity. Products from food, pharmaceuticals, consumer products, etc. are delivered in polymer film packaging. These films can be important for preventing exposure to oxygen, ultraviolet illumination, or other environmental factors depending on the product in question. The design and fabrication of polymer films is typically a complex and costly process that can affect actual and perceived product quality.

Therefore powerful analytical techniques are required that allow insight in the laminate structure, e.g. in case of product failure. FT-IR microanalysis allows measuring chemical images of the laminate structure that reveal the chemical composition of each layer.

Using the focal-plane array (FPA) detector technology of the HYPERION 3000 FT-IR microscope thousands of spectra can be measured simultaneously within seconds. Moreover the maximum spatial resolution is achieved which is possible by FT-IR spectroscopy. This allows determining thin layers down to the low micrometer range.


The analysis of multilayer laminates by FT-IR microscopy requires either a demanding sample preparation by thin sectioning of the sample or has to be performed using the ATR technique which can result in deformation of the sample. In contrast the confocal Raman microscope SENTERRA II allows measuring the cross-section of a laminate without contact. Moreover, it even provides the ability to profile the depth directly from the top layer of the film. This allows multilayer films to be analyzed very quickly without any sample preparation.