Facile evaluation of coating thickness on membranes using ATR-FTIR

Maria Bass, Viatcheslav Freger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The study introduces a method for facile evaluation of thicknesses of thin coating layers on substrates based on Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transfer Infra-Red (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. This approach enables fast and simple evaluation of average thickness of polymeric coatings up to several micrometers thick for a variety of substrates, once the refractive index and extinction coefficient of the coating and substrate materials are independently determined. The method yields average thickness over practically meaningful areas of up to several cm2. It is useful for studying surface-modified or fouled substrates, e.g., separation membranes, and may apply to non-uniform or patchy coatings on rough substrates. Its utility was demonstrated for nano- and ultrafiltration membranes grafted with thin layers of low-fouling polymers. The method was validated by comparing ATR-FTIR thickness to the one independently measured by electron microscopy for well-defined spin-coated NF and UF membrane samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-354
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - 5 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • ATR-FTIR spectroscopy
  • Coating thickness measurement
  • Fouled membranes
  • Surface modification
  • Surface-grafted substrates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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