Physical Methods in Chemistry | Department of Chemistry

Physical Methods in Chemistry

Analyses of compounds are an integral aspect of chemistry. We get to know the structure, spatial orientation and purity of compounds we synthesize through analysis which helps us to advance in our investigation. To address this purpose a bevy of instruments ranging from UV spectroscopy, IR spectroscopy to High Pressure Liquid Chromatography are available. However accurately understanding the output from these instruments is an essential attribute for a successful chemist. The purpose of this course is to familiarize the students with the basic principles of spectroscopic and diffraction methods that are instrumental to the analysis of molecules and structures in the day-to-day life of a chemist. In this course, we will learn to interpret and understand working of various types of analytical instruments commonly used for analysis in a chemistry lab.
UV-visible spectroscopy: Beer–Lambert law, types of electronic transitions, effect of conjugation. Concept of chromophore and auxochrome. Bathochromic, hypsochromic, hyperchromic and hypochromic shifts, Woodward–Fieser rules, Woodward rules, introduction to fluorescence.
Vibrational spectroscopy: Molecular vibrations, Hooke’s law, Modes of vibration, Factors influencing vibrational frequencies: coupling of vibrational frequencies, hydrogen bonding, electronic effects, The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer, Calibration of the Frequency Scale, Absorbance and Transmittance scale, intensity and position of IR bands, fingerprint region, characteristic absorptions of various functional groups and interpretation of IR spectra of simple organic molecules, basic mention of Raman Spectroscopy including the mutual exclusion principle, Raman and IR active modes of CO2.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy: Spinning nucleus, effect of an external magnetic field, precessional motion and precessional frequency, precessional frequency and the field strength, chemical shift and its measurement, factors influencing chemical shift and anisotropic effect, proton NMR spectrum, influence of restricted rotation, solvents used in NMR, solvent shift and concentration and temperature effect and hydrogen bonding, spin-spin splitting and coupling constants, chemical and magnetic equivalence in NMR, Lanthanide shift reagents, factors influencing the coupling constant, germinal coupling, vicinal coupling, heteronuclear coupling, deuterium exchange, proton exchange reactions.
Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy: Derivative curves, g values, Hyperfine splitting
X-ray Diffraction: X-ray and diffraction of X-rays by atoms, Bragg’s law, lattice, crystal systems, planes and Miller indices, reciprocal lattice, crystal growth and mounting, diffractometer operation, recording diffraction pattern, reflection analysis and preliminary structure determination. ,
Mass spectrometry: Basic principles, basic instrumentation, electron impact ionization, separation of ions in the analyzer, isotope abundances, molecular ions and metastable ions, basic fragmentation rules, factors influencing fragmentation, McLafferty rearrangements, chemical ionization.
Data Analysis: Uncertainties, errors, mean, standard deviation, least square fit.


  1. Spectroscopy of organic compounds, 6th Edition by P. S. KALSI, New Age International Publishers.
  2. Spectrometric Identification of Organic Compounds, 6th Edition by R. M. Silverstein and F. X. Webster, Wiley Student Edition.
  3. Molecular Fluorescence: Principles and Applications. Bernard Valeur, Wiley-VCH
  4. X-ray structure determination: A Practical Guide (2nd Ed.) by George H. Stout and Lyle H Jensen, Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1989.

Prerequisites: Chemical Principles (CHY111), Basic Organic Chemistry-I (CHY122).

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