The KBr pellet method is mainly used in measurement of solid samples by the transmission method. This technique utilizes the property that alkali halides possess plasticity and form transparent sheets when subjected to pressure. Production of KBr pellets with high quality and satisfactory transparency is important for obtaining good infrared spectra.
Oil hydraulic presses and mini hand presses are widely used as press machines for pelletizing. Although application of pressure is comparatively simple with hydraulic presses, these machines have a large footprint, and compaction with mini hand presses requires considerable manual labor. The Pixie portable hydraulic press (manufactured by PIKE Technologies), which features an ergonomic design and has a maximum load of 2.5 t, was developed to solve these problems. Heavy manual labor required with mini hand presses is not necessary, and the device can be used simply with minimal force. Since the Pixie has a small footprint of only W12.7 cm x D19.2 cm, it can also be used in draft chambers. Among other advantages, the pressure gauge is easily visible, and uniform, high quality KBr pellets can be produced by standardized operations by several methods, including those in pharmacopeias, supporting spectrum reproducibility.
This article introduces the results of measurements of KBr pellets produced with the Pixie by Shimadzu’s compact FTIR IRSpirit™.