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Infrared Spectroscopy

MIDAC Series M FTIR (1990)

The amount of energy a molecule contains is not continuously variable but quantized. This means that a molecule can stretch, bend, or rotate only at specific frequencies. For example, a typical C-H bond has an average bond length of 1.10 Angstroms. This length is only an average - vibrating back and forth due to stretching, bending, and rotation (both symmetrically and asymmetrically) are all happening on a moment by moment basis. When the molecule is irradiated with electromagnetic radiation, the vibrating bond will absorb energy if the frequencies of the light and the vibration are the same. This absorption phenomena is the principle that the IR takes advantage of in the production of spectra that can be easily interpreted by the trained chemist.

The IR is a popular tool used by inorganic, organic, and physical chemists due to the variety of information that it conveys in a fast amount of time. The following photograph is an unknown sample and above the graph is specific regions where the vibrations are characterized.

Contact Information
Dr. Michael Norton
Marshall University Dept. of Chemistry

Dr. Gary Anderson
Marshall University Dept. of Chemistry

Dr. Michael Castellani
Marshall University Dept. of Chemistry

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