Transient Infrared Emission Spectroscopy (TIRES) is a new technique that reduces the occurrence of self-absorption in optically thick solid samples so that analytically useful emission spectra may be observed. Conventional emission spectroscopy, in which the sample is held at an elevated, uniform temperature, is practical only for optically thin samples. In thick samples the emission from deep layers of the material is partially absorbed by overlying layers.1 This self-absorption results in emission spectra from most optically thick samples that closely resemble black-body spectra. The characteristic discrete emission bands are severely truncated and altered in shape. TIRES bypasses this difficulty by using a laser to heat only an optically thin surface layer. The increased temperature of the layer is transient since the layer will rapidly cool and thicken by thermal diffusion; hence the emission collection must be correlated with the laser heating. TIRES may be done with both pulsed and cw lasers.2,3 When a pulsed laser is used, the spectrometer sampling must be synchronized with the laser pulsing so that only emission during and immediately after each laser pulse is observed.3 If a cw laser is used, the sample must move rapidly through the beam. The hot, transient layer is then in the beam track on the sample at and immediately behind the beam position, so the spectrometer field of view must be limited to this region near the beam position.2 How much self-absorption the observed emission suffers depends on how thick the heated layer has grown by thermal diffusion when the spectrometer samples the emission. Use of a pulsed laser synchronized with the spectrometer sampling readily permits reduction of the time available for heat diffusion to about 100 acs .3 When a cw laser is used, the heat-diffusion time is controlled by how small the spectrometer field of view is and by how rapidly the sample moves past within this field. Both a very small field of view and a very high sample speed would be required to attain a diffusion time of 100 μs. Accordingly, pulsed-laser TIRES generally produces spectra suffering from less self-absorption than cw-laser TIRES does, but the cw-laser technique is technically much simpler since no synchronization is required.