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An Introduction to Spectroscopy Techniques and Their Applications in Analysis

 Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. It is a technique used to analyze the composition and structure of matter by examining how light or other electromagnetic radiation is absorbed, emitted, or scattered by that matter.

A spectrometer is an instrument used to measure spectra. It can split light into its constituent wavelengths and measure the intensity at each wavelength. 

A spectrophotometer is a specific type of spectrometer that measures the intensity of light as a function of wavelength. It can be used to measure the absorption, transmission, or reflection of light.

A spectroscope is a simple spectrometer used to observe spectral lines and bands. It usually consists of a prism or diffraction grating to disperse light and view a spectrum.

A spectrograph is a spectroscope that can record the spectrum onto a photographic plate or detector. It produces a spectral graph or spectrogram.

Spectra refers to the characteristic patterns of frequencies/wavelengths in electromagnetic radiation emitted or absorbed by atoms and molecules. Each atom or molecule has a unique spectral signature.

Some key types of spectroscopy and their basic principles, steps, and uses:

1. Absorption Spectroscopy

- Principle: Based on the absorption of electromagnetic radiation by the analyte at characteristic wavelengths. The absorption follows Beer-Lambert law.

- Steps: 1) Shine light on sample, 2) Sample absorbs light at specific wavelengths, 3) Measure transmitted light intensity at different wavelengths, 4) Relate absorption to analyte concentration.

- Uses: Determine concentration of analytes, identify analytes, quantitative and qualitative analysis.

2. Astronomical Spectroscopy 

- Principle: Analysis of electromagnetic radiation from stars and other celestial objects. Allows determination of chemical composition, motion, temperature, etc.

- Steps: 1) Light from celestial source dispersed into spectrum, 2) Sensitive detectors used to measure intensity at different wavelengths.

- Uses: Determine composition, temperature, radial velocity of astronomical objects. 

3. Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

- Principle: Sample is vaporized and light of specific wavelength is passed through vaporized atoms. Amount of light absorbed is proportional to analyte concentration.

- Steps: 1) Atomize sample, 2) Irradiate sample with light source specific to analyte, 3) Measure absorption.

- Uses: Quantitative determination of specific metal elements in samples.

4. Circular Dichroism Spectroscopy

- Principle: Differential absorption of left and right circularly polarized light due to structural asymmetry of molecules.

- Steps: 1) Irradiate sample with circularly polarized light, 2) Measure difference in absorption between left and right circularly polarized components. 

- Uses: Study chiral molecules, determine protein secondary structure.

5. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

- Principle: Apply small amplitude AC signal to electrochemical cell and measure current response across a range of frequencies. 

- Steps: 1) Apply AC potential to cell, 2) Measure current response as a function of frequency, 3) Analyze impedance spectrum.

- Uses: Study electrode processes and complex interfaces.

6. Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy

- Principle: Microwave absorption by unpaired electrons in a strong magnetic field. Provides information about electronic structure.

- Steps: 1) Place sample in magnetic field, 2) Irradiate sample with microwaves, 3) Detect microwave absorption as function of magnetic field.

- Uses: Study free radicals, identify paramagnetic species, examine properties of materials.

7. Emission Spectroscopy

- Principle: Excited atoms and molecules emit electromagnetic radiation at characteristic wavelengths as they relax.

- Steps: 1) Excite sample using heat/electrical energy, 2) Measure intensity of emitted light at different wavelengths.

- Uses: Identify elements, quantify analyte concentration, flame tests.

8. Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy

- Principle: X-rays emitted from a sample due to bombardment by electron beam are measured by energy. 

- Steps: 1) Bombard sample with electron beam, 2) Detect emitted X-rays, 3) Measure X-ray energy spectra.

- Uses: Elemental analysis and chemical characterization of a sample.

9. Fluorescence Spectroscopy

- Principle: Fluorescent light is emitted from a sample after excitation by a light source. 

- Steps: 1) Excite sample with light source, 2) Measure intensity and wavelengths of emitted fluorescent light.

- Uses: Analyze organic compounds, biochemical analysis, medical diagnostics.

10. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

- Principle: Infrared light passing through a sample is measured by an interferometer to obtain an interferogram, which is decoded by Fourier transform.

- Steps: 1) Pass IR light through sample, 2) Measure interferogram, 3) Apply Fourier transform to get spectrum.

- Uses: Identify organic, polymeric, and some inorganic materials.

11. Gamma-ray Spectroscopy

- Principle: Nuclear transitions in atomic nuclei result in gamma-ray emissions at characteristic energies.

- Steps: 1) Excite sample to induce nuclear reactions, 2) Measure energy spectrum of emitted gamma-rays. 

- Uses: Identify isotopes, analyze nuclear reactions.

12. Infrared Spectroscopy

- Principle: Infrared radiation excites molecular vibrations which absorb at specific wavelengths based on chemical structure.

- Steps: 1) Expose sample to IR radiation, 2) Measure IR absorption or transmission spectrum.

- Uses: Identify functional groups, analyze organic compounds, quantify components.

13. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

- Principle: Atomic nuclei absorbed in a magnetic field absorb and re-emit electromagnetic radiation. Frequency depends on the nucleus and chemical environment. 

- Steps: 1) Place sample in magnetic field, 2) Irradiate sample with radio waves, 3) Detect emitted radiation.

- Uses: Analyze molecular structure and chemical environment.

14. Mass Spectrometry 

- Principle: Ions formed from a sample are separated based on mass-to-charge ratio.

- Steps: 1) Ionize analyte molecules, 2) Separate ions based on m/z, usually with electric/magnetic fields, 3) Detect ions.

- Uses: Identify unknown compounds, quantify molecules, determine molecular structure.

15. Molecular Spectroscopy

- Principle: Interaction of molecules with electromagnetic radiation at varying wavelengths is measured to derive structural and dynamic information.

- Steps: 1) Expose sample to EM radiation source, 2) Measure interaction (absorption, emission, scattering, etc.) as function of wavelength.

- Uses: Determine molecular structure, identify functional groups, analyze molecular motions/transitions.

16. Mössbauer Spectroscopy

- Principle: Based on recoil-free emission and absorption of gamma rays by atomic nuclei bound in a solid. 

- Steps: 1) Irradiate sample with gamma rays, 2) Measure absorption spectrum of gamma rays.

- Uses: Study chemical environment and magnetic properties of iron-containing samples.

17. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

- Principle: Nuclei in a magnetic field absorb and re-emit electromagnetic radiation at characteristic frequencies. 

- Steps: 1) Place sample in magnetic field, 2) Irradiate sample with radio waves, 3) Detect emitted radiation. 

- Uses: Determine molecular structure, identify compounds, quantify analytes.

18. Photoelectron Spectroscopy

- Principle: High energy photons eject electrons from a sample. Kinetic energy measured provides information about elemental composition and chemical environment.

- Steps: 1) Irradiate sample with X-rays/UV rays, 2) Measure kinetic energy of emitted electrons.

- Uses: Determine elemental composition, chemical bonding, electronic structure. 

19. Raman Spectroscopy

- Principle: Based on inelastic scattering of monochromatic light by molecules which provides vibrational info.

- Steps: 1) Illuminate sample with monochromatic source, 2) Measure frequency shifts in scattered light.

- Uses: Identify molecules, investigate sample composition.

20. UV Spectroscopy

- Principle: Samples absorb ultraviolet light at wavelengths corresponding to allowed electronic transitions.

- Steps: 1) Expose sample to UV light source, 2) Measure absorption spectrum in UV region.

- Uses: Quantify analytes, identify organic compounds, determine purity.

21. UV/Vis Spectroscopy

- Principle: Molecules containing π-electrons or non-bonding electrons can absorb UV/Vis light resulting in electronic transitions.

- Steps: 1) Expose sample to UV/Vis light, 2) Measure absorption spectrum.

- Uses: Quantify analytes using Beer-Lambert law, identify analytes, determine kinetics.

22. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy 

- Principle: X-ray irradiation causes photoelectron emission, with binding energies characteristic of each element.

- Steps: 1) Irradiate sample with X-rays, 2) Measure kinetic energy of emitted photoelectrons. 

- Uses: Determine elemental composition, chemical states, electronic structure.


- Skoog, Holler and Crouch - Principles of Instrumental Analysis 

- Banwell and McCash - Fundamentals of Molecular Spectroscopy

- Hollas - Modern Spectroscopy

- McQuarrie - Quantum Chemistry 

- Wilson and Walker - Principles and Techniques of Practical Biochemistry

- Günzler and Gremlich - IR Spectroscopy: An Introduction


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