Adhesion mechanisms can be studied through observation of changes in the frequency of infrared absorption bands of molecules near a metal surface when compared with the corresponding bands of bulk of the material. However, measurement of the extremely weak bands afforded by molecular layers less than 20 Å thick using conventional reflection-absorption (R-A) techniques is quite difficult even using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometers at their maximum allowed optical throughput, since mercury cadmium telluride detectors cannot be used without the measurement being digitization noise limited. Even when parallel-polarized radiation at incident angles greater than 80° is used, as suggested by Greenler, the surface reflectance is still high enough to cause the signal/noise ratio (SNR) of the interferogram to be limited by the dynamic range of the analog-to-digital converter and the linearity of the detector.
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