Professional Analytical and Consulting Services

Infrared Spectral Interpretation

PACS Course Number 30

9 AM to 5 PM

This 3-day course will help you determine unknown molecular structures from infrared spectra. The course begins with how molecules absorb infrared radiation, and what peak positions, heights, and widths mean. Next, a systematic, 12-step method to successfully interpret spectra is presented. The bulk of the course is a discussion of the diagnostically useful infrared bands 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 mixture spectra faster and easier. Dozens of reference spectra will be reviewed in detail. Students will practice interpreting many unknown spectra in class under the guidance of your expert instructor.

Dr. Brian C.Smith has over 30 years experience as an infrared spectroscopist and has trained thousands of people in the field since 1992. He is the author of three popular books on spectroscopy; Fundamentals of FTIR and Infrared Spectral Interpretation published by CRC Press and Quantitative Spectroscopy: Theory and Practice published by Academic Press. Dr. Smith earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Dartmouth College and graduated summa cum laude from Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Chemistry.

Register by mailing a copy of the COURSE REGISTRATION FORM or an associated CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FORM. Send it with a payment of $2395 to secure your course attendance. Hotel information and a map will be sent to confirm your registration. Please list your special interest(s) on the registration form. Enrollment is limited to assure your maximum course benefits. On-site PACS courses are available (most PACS courses can be provided at your time and place). Telephone Henry Nowicki or Barb Sherman at 1.724.457.6576 if you need further information. PACS also provides laboratory testing and consulting services.

Infrared Spectral Interpretation

Course Instructor: Brian Smith, Ph.D. under the auspices of PACS

Day 1
I. The Fundamentals of Infrared Interpretation
A. The Properties of Light
B. Molecular Vibrations
C. How Molecules Absorb Infrared Radiation
D. Strategies for Interpreting Spectra including Mixtures
II. Functional Group Analysis of Alkanes: Methyl & Methylene Groups
III. Unsaturated Hydrocarbons: Alkenes & Alkynes
IV. Aromatic Hydrocarbons: Benzene Rings, PAHs, and Heterocyclic Aromatics
Day 2
V. Functional Groups Containing the C-O Bond
A. Alcohols & Phenols
B. Ethers
C. Sugars and Carbohydrates
VI. The Carbonyl (C=O) Functional Group
A. Ketones
B. Aldehydes
C. Carboxylic Acids
D. Carboxylates (Soaps)
E. Acid Anhydrides
F. Esters: The Rule of 3
G. Organic Carbonates
Day 3
VII. Organic Nitrogen Compounds
A. Amides
B. Imides
C. Amines
D. Nitriles: The C≡N Bond
E. Nitro Compounds
VIII. Organic Sulfur, Silicon, and Halogen Compounds
IX. Intro. To the Infrared Spectra of Polymers
X. Inorganics
XI. Interpretation Aids:
A. Spectral Subtraction:
B. Library Searching
* Special interest of participants
* Review and discussion

View the PACS Short Course Schedule

Course participants are encouraged to e-mail questions to Dr. Henry Nowicki at

Please NOTE: List your special interest on the registration form. We will try to accommodate your interest. PACS also provides internet consulting information at

Training is an Investment in employee employer Future!

For more information please contact:

Henry Nowicki, Ph.D. / M.B.A
PACS Testing, Consulting and Training
409 Meade Drive, Coraopolis, PA 15108
Phone: 1. 724. 457. 6576 or 1. 800. 367. 2587
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