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1 These spectra are then multiplied with a factor to match the intensity of the sample spectrum and subtracted pixel by pixel and spectrum by spectrum from the sample spectrum using a least-squares algorithm.

2 The most straightforward approach to absorption spectroscopy is to generate radiation with a source, measure a reference spectrum of that radiation with a detector and then re-measure the sample spectrum after placing the material of interest in between the source and detector.

3 The sample spectrum alone is not sufficient to determine the absorption spectrum because it will be affected by the experimental conditions—the spectrum of the source, the absorption spectra of other materials in between the source and detector and the wavelength dependent characteristics of the detector.