Polymer films of varying thicknesses were deposited onto cotton and polyester fabric samples by dip-coating from solution. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of the coated fabric samples were used to evaluate the quality of the polymer coating. The samples were analyzed by infrared diffuse reflection spectroscopy to determine the relationship between film thickness and the effect of the coating on the spectroscopy of the two fabrics. Effects observed in four limiting cases are examined: (Case I) weak coating absorption on a fabric with weak absorption at the same frequency; (Case II) strong coating absorption in a spectral region of weak fabric absorption; (Case III) weak coating absorption in a spectral region of strong fabric absorption; and (Case IV) strong coating absorption in a spectral region of strong fabric absorption. In the first case, effects were dominated by reduced scattering as the coating is added. In the second case, the strong coating absorption that was observed at low coverages plateaus at higher coverage due to depth of penetration effects. In the third and fourth cases, reduced Fresnel diffuse reflection is measured as the coating is added, consistent with the reduction of scattering observed in the first case.
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