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Functional Groups Exploration Lab

Exploration of Functional Groups with Raman and IR Spectroscopy

Learning Objectives:
   1. Determine the benefits of Raman and IR spectroscopies
   2. Analyze similar compounds with vibrational spectroscopies

 

Introduction:
Chemists use a variety of instruments to either verify that they have synthesized a compound as intended, or to simply characterize a compound to determine its identity. The most common instruments used to characterize a compound are GC/MS, 1H and 13C FT-NMR, and FT-IR. GC/MS gives valuable insight into a compounds size and polarity. NMR techniques can help to determine the functional groups present, as well as the number of unique protons and carbons and their environment within the molecule. Both techniques also reveal significant information about the purity of the final compound. FT-IR is a non-destructive and rapid way of identifying functional groups and the types of bonds present in a molecule and is often the first technique employed because of the extreme ease of obtaining a spectrum, and the easy interpretation of the results. Another technique that gives similar information to the FT-IR spectra, but has different strengths in certain instances is Raman spectroscopy. Raman spectroscopy is a very old technique that has historically been destructive and required a large instrument and sample prep. Today, it is available as a complementary spectroscopy characterization tool to FT-IR that is as fast and easy, and is non-destructive. 

 

In this lab, you will be introduced to the power of FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy, or as they are collectively known: vibrational spectroscopies.