OCR AS Chemistry F332: Infrared Spectroscopy

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Infrared Spectroscopy
Infrared spectroscopy is a technique used to determine the structure of organic compounds.
It helps chemists to identify different types of covalent bonds and hence draw conclusions
about the functional groups in a molecule.
How it works
In infrared spectroscopy, a beam of infrared radiation is passed through a sample of a
chemical.
The infrared radiation is absorbed by the covalent bonds in the molecules, increasing their
vibrational energy.
Bonds between different atoms absorb different frequencies of infrared radiation.
Bonds in different places in a molecule absorb different frequencies too.
A typical IR Spectrum
IR spectra have the following features:
The x axis shows wavenumber, measured in cm -1
The y axis shows percentage transmittance
The absorption signal are downward troughs
Absorptions are described as strong, medium and hydrogen bonded
The part of the IR spectrum below 1500 cm -1 is called the fingerprint region

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Interpreting IR Spectra
The most prominent absorption signals can be matched to a particular covalent bond.…read more

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