Whereas rheometers are instruments used to characterize the rheological properties of materials, they alone give no information about the chemical nature of the rheological structures. This information is best obtained by molecular spectroscopy, thus allowing for the assignment of the molecular segments responsible for the rheological properties.
The RHEONAUT involves coupling an FTIR spectrometer to a standard Thermo HAAKE MARS rheometer, and thus allows for simultaneous rheological and infrared spectroscopical examination of samples in a shear field. It comprises a rheometer module featuring an internal reflection element (IRE) as the sensor for the acquisition of Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR) spectra. Because of its simultaneous operation with the rheometer, the RHEONAUT provides unique additional information permitting further characterization of the structural changes in materials due to applied deformation. This is particularly useful when studying physical changes that have a chemical change in origin.