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Infrared Spectroscopy | Virtual Lab

High School
Higher Education
Chemistry
Health Sciences
Biology
Infrared Spectroscopy
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About This Simulation

Dive into a virtual laboratory to discover the secrets of infrared spectroscopy. From the introduction of different vibrational modes to the interpretation of real-life spectra, mastering this technique will be child’s play.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the theory behind IR, covering variations in dipolar momentum in vibrations from a qualitative point of view.
  • Interpret the IR spectrum of simple organic molecules (1-butanol for example)
  • Analyze the three basic components of an infrared spectrometer: radiation source, monochromator and detector.

About This Simulation

Level:
High School
Higher Education
Length:
18
Min
Accessibility Mode:
Available
Languages:
English

Lab Techniques

  • Infrared Spectroscopy
  • Michelson interferometer
  • Symmetric and asymmetric vibrations
  • Stretching and bending
No lab techniques are listed for this simulation.

Related Standards

University:
  • US College Year 1
  • US College Year 2
  • Early Stage Bachelors Level
NGSS:
AP:
LB:
No lab techniques are listed for this simulation.

Learn More About This Simulation

Begin familiarizing yourself with the different components of an infrared spectrometer by interacting with engaging mini-games. Captivating images and scientifically accurate analogies will turn infrared spectroscopy into an understandable and appealing topic! How does an infrared spectrometer work? It might not be your main focus, but can you really understand this technique without knowing about the instrument? In this simulation, you’ll first be introduced to the general structure and functionality of the main parts of an infrared spectrometer, while your understanding will be continuously challenged with engaging questions and quizzes.  Explore how light travels through the instrument before getting started with the theory of vibrations.

Functional groups and vibrational modes While looking at 3D models of different molecules, you’ll be given the possibility to scan through the infrared wavelength range. In this way, you’ll identify the characteristic vibrational modes related to the molecule’s structure and see the models vibrate in real life. If imagining vibrations has always been a pain point for you, this activity will help you overcome these difficulties.

Stretching and bending In the next activity, you’ll get to interact in first person with 3D vibrating molecules. Guided by Dr.One’s dialogues and theory pages, you’ll get to distinguish between stretching and bending, symmetrical and asymmetrical vibration, for a full understanding of vibrational modes.

Reading a spectrum The final part of the experience will focus on reading a spectrum and assigning the correct functional group to the related peak. To mimic a real life experience, you’ll be also asked to compare a spectrum with three examples from the literature and decide which one matches the compound of interest.

Did we manage to spark your interest for Infrared Spectroscopy? You won't until you try!

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