Module Overview

Physical and Organic Spectroscopy

The purpose of this module is to provide the learner with a detailed understanding of specific areas of spectroscopy in particular physical and organic spectroscopy. The physical spectroscopy element consists of a more advanced treatment of rotational, vibrational and electronic spectra with particular emphasis on the origin and underlying principles. The theoretical aspects are underpinned by suitably chosen experiments which amplify and reinforce the lecture material.

The organic spectroscopy syllabus builds on the 2nd year spectroscopy module focusing on the use of various techniques for the purposes of structural elucidation.  The learner will be introduced to the use of mass spectrometry and will take a more detailed approach to the use of proton and carbon-13 NMR spectra. The learner will be required to solve integrated problems.  A workshop will allow students to develop their problem solving skills.

Module Code

CHEM 3014

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Physical Spectroscopy:

General features of spectroscopy. Rotational spectroscopy: rigid and non-rigid rotor models. Determination of bond lengths and dipole moments. Vibrational spectroscopy :harmonic and anharmonic oscillator models. Isotope and kinetic isotope effects. Polyatomic molecules: overtones and combination bands. Electronic transitions in polyatomic molecules. Radiative and non-radiative decay processes.


Organic Spectroscopy:

Mass spectrometry: Mass spectrometer, low and high resolution, isotope effects, fragmentation pathways, rearrangements of molecular ions, interpretation of spectra.

Proton NMR spectroscopy: Spin-spin splitting patterns, coupling constant and correlation with structure, introduction to non-first order spectra, interpretation of spectra.

Carbon-13 NMR spectroscopy: Interpretation (including DEPT spectra).

Integrated problem solving: Use of IR, mass, proton and carbon-13 NMR spectra in the elucidation of the structures of organic compounds.



Laboratory work is sourced from the School of Chemical and BioPharmaceutical Sciences Laboratory Manual.

This module is delivered through lectures and laboratory classes.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)100