On-Demand Across the Spectrum: Infrared Spectral Interpretation

An overview of how to determine unknown molecular structures from infrared spectra.

Pricing: USD 199
Duration: 1–2 hours
Registration Info

About the Instructor(s)

Brian C. Smith
Founder and Principal, Spectros Associates

Brian C. Smith, Ph.D., is founder and Principal of Spectros Associates.

About the Course

An overview of how to determine unknown molecular structures from infrared spectra. We’ll begin with how molecules absorb infrared radiation; and what peak positions, heights, and widths mean. Next, a systematic, 10-step strategy to successfully interpret spectra is presented.

The bulk of the course is a discussion of important infrared bands of a number of economically important molecules including alkanes, aromatics, alcohols, esters, and amines. Special discussions of polymers and inorganics are included.

The course concludes with a practical discussion of how library searching and spectral subtraction make interpreting spectra faster and easier. Interpretation workshops, where attendees interpret unknown spectra with the help of the instructor, are held throughout the course.

  • 4 ways to make interpreting mixture spectra easier
  • Discover the right way to perform identities and spectral comparisons
  • Emphasis is on industrially and economically important molecules
  • Understand All the Features in a Spectrum
  • Cyclic Alkanes, Highly Substituted Benzene Rings
  • Heterocyclic and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Sugars and Carbohydrates
  • Unusual Carbonyl Compounds including Polyurethanes and Carbonates
  • Organic Sulfur, Silicon, Halogen compounds
  • Interpretation Aids: Spectral Subtraction and Library Searching

What You Will Learn

After taking all 10 modules of this course, you will

  • Gain a complete understanding of interpreting IR spectra
  • Be able to identify structures with higher accuracy
  • Save your organization time and money with quicker structure identification.

Who Should Attend

Anyone who needs to identify molecular structures in samples.

Course Outline

  • Module 1

    • The Properties of Light
    • Molecular Vibrations
    • The Meaning of Peak Positions, Heights, and Widths
    • How Molecules Absorb Infrared Radiation
    • Assigning All the Features in a Spectrum
    • A Strategic Approach to Spectral Interpretation
    • Dealing with Mixtures
    • Performing Spectral Comparisons (Identities) Properly
    • A 10-Step Method for Infrared Interpretation
  • Module 2

    • Straight Chain Alkanes: Methyl and Methylene Groups
    • Estimating Hydrocarbon Chain Length
    • Branched Alkanes (introduction)
  • Module 3

    • Branched Alkanes (continued)
    • CH2 in Cyclic Structures: Cyclohexyl and Cyclopentyl Rings
    • Alkenes
    • Substitution Patterns
    • Distinguishing Cis/Trans Isomers
    • Natural and Synthetic Rubbers
    • Alkynes
  • Module 4

    • Aromatic Hydrocarbons
    • Mono-Substituted Benzene Rings
    • Distinguishing Ortho, Meta, and Para Isomers
    • The Benzene Fingers
    • Highly Substituted Benzene Rings
    • Tri-substituted Rings
    • Tetra-substituted Rings
  • Module 5

    • Heterocyclic and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
    • Pyridines
    • Naphthalenes
    • Functional Groups Containing the C-O Bond
    • Overview: The C-O Stretch
    • Alcohols & Phenols
    • Differentiating Saturated Alcohols
    • Phenols
    • Distinguishing Alcohols and Water
  • Module 6

    • More Functional Groups with C-O Single Bonds
    • Ethers
    • Saturated Ethers
    • Aromatic Ethers
    • The Methoxy Group
    • Sugars and Carbohydrates
    • Sugars
    • Oligosaccharides
    • Cellulose
    • Introduction to the Carbonyl (C=O) Group
    • The C=O Stretch
    • Ketones
  • Module 7

    • How Molecules Absorb Infrared Radiation
    • When Particles Collide
    • A Close Encounter of the Electrostatic Kind
    • Assigning All the Features in a Spectrum
    • Complex Carbonyl Molecules
      • Aldehydes
      • Carboxylic Acids
      • Carboxylates (Soaps)
  • Module 8

    • Even More Carbonyl Molecules
    • Acid Anhydrides
    • Esters: The Rule of 3
    • Organic Carbonates
    • Summary of Carbonyl Containing Functional Groups
  • Module 9

    • Organic Nitrogen Compounds
    • Amides
    • Structure, Nomenclature, and Bonding
    • Primary Amides
    • Secondary Amides
    • Proteins
    • Imides
    • Urethanes
    • Amines
    • Primary Amines
  • Module 10

    • Spectral Subtraction: Simplifying Mixture Spectra
    • Theory
    • Optimizing Subtraction Results
    • Spotting Artifacts
    • Library Searching
    • Background and Theory
    • The Search Process
    • Property Interpreting Search Results
    • Subtract and Search Again: Deconstructing Mixtures

Dates, Locations, and Prices

On Demand course modules can be purchased a la carte for $199, each. All modules are held on a rolling basis throughout the year to accommodate your schedule and budget.


Early Bird Full Price
Member(Premium Package) $199
Member or Associate(Standard or Basic Package) $199
Non-Member $199

The registration fee includes seven days of access to the content, lecture slides (provided in PDF format), and email access to the instructor. Each person attending must register individually for this course.