We suggest a new modality of infrared spectroscopy termed Infrared Refraction Spectroscopy, which is complimentary to absorption spectroscopy. The beauty of this new modality lies not only in its simplicity but also in the fact that it closes an important gap: It allows to quantitatively interpret reflectance spectra by simplest means. First, the refractive index spectrum is calculated from reflectance by neglecting absorption. The change of the refractive index is proportional to concentration, and the spectra with features similar to second derivative absorbance spectra can simply be computed by numerically deriving the refractive index spectra, something which can be easily carried out by standard spectra software packages. The peak values of the derived spectra indicate oscillator positions and are approximately proportional to the concentration in a similar way as absorbance is. In contrast to absorbance spectra, there are no baseline ambiguities for first derivative refractive index spectra, and in refractive index spectra, instead of integrating over a band area, a simple difference of two refractive index values before and after an absorption leads to a quantity that correlates perfectly linearly with concentration in the absence of local field effects.
Keywords: Beer’s law; Reflection spectroscopy; refraction spectroscopy.