Measurement of the rates of diffusion of halomethanes into polymer films using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy

Valerie Dobbyn, Rhona Howley, Padraig Kirwan, Peter McLoughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Polymer-modified attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy and FEWS (fibre-optic evanescent wave) spectroscopy have been very successful to date for sensitive detection of organic pollutants in water utilising the mid-infrared (MIR) region of the electromagnetic spectrum (4000-400 cm-1). This sensing approach involves the use of different polymer films for preconcentration with optimisation of the sensor related to the rate of diffusion of solvent molecules into these polymer films. Compounds such as chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane and dibromochloromethane which are collectively referred to as trihalomethanes (THMs) were analysed in this work. A gaseous phase experimental design was used and from experimental data the rate of diffusion of each of the halomethanes was quantified based on a Fickian type diffusion model. Individual diffusion coefficient values were found to be in the range 3.38 E-10±0.01 E-10 to 4.72 E-08±0.42 E-08cm2s-1. Multicomponent effects were observed for mixtures of compounds diffusing into polyisobutylene and ethylene-propylene copolymer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-652
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003


  • ATR-FTIR spectroscopy
  • Diffusion
  • Ethylene-propylene copolymer
  • Halomethanes
  • Polyisobutylene
  • Polymer films


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