Design and Build of a High Specification Extended FTIR Spectrometer
This project consists of extending the range of FTIR spectrometry in order to be able to identify compounds that have their absorption bands out of the commonly used mid-IR range. This would enable the detection of a range of materials such as metallic and semiconducting compounds, and monitor reactions where nanocrystals are embedded in polymers. The project implies the "bottom-up" design of a high-end FTIR spectrometer, using modern design tools and state-of-the-art optical components. Firstly, the student will become familiar with the FTIR fundamental theory and a comprehensive state-of-the-art study will be performed. Next, commercially available FTIR analysers or spectrometers will be extensively used with the aim of fully understanding all mechanical/optical and software requirements, as well as the use of different sampling modules. Then, a prototype will be built, using internal company resources for mechanical and optical design. This phase also includes the start of software development. The candidate will have to advise the software team of all requirements, such as interaction with hardware components and design of the user interface. (The coding is not part of the project.) Performance tests will be carried out with composite materials. Other prototyping phases will follow until the instrument is ready for the market.
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