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Infrared Molecular Vibrational Spectroscopy

  1. Andrew B. Horn

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/3527600434.eap690

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Horn, A. B. 2009. Infrared Molecular Vibrational Spectroscopy. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. 887–932.

Author Information

  1. University of Manchester, School of Chemistry, Manchester, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


In this chapter, the use of infrared spectroscopy for the identification of materials, molecules and functional groups through their characteristic absorption patterns in the mid-infrared (4000-400 cm−1) region of the electromagnetic spectrum is discussed. Starting from a simple treatment of the mechanism of excitation of vibrational absorption and the application of group theory methods, it moves on to aspects of spectroscopic instrumentation and sampling methods. Some topical examples of the use of modern infrared spectroscopy in physics, chemistry, biology, and atmospheric science are also presented.


  • infrared spectroscopy;
  • sampling methods;
  • spectral interpretation and analysis