Modern analytical techniques

Modern techniques of analysis have revolutionised the determination of the structures of organic molecules.

At A level four techniques are covered:

  • thin-layer chromatography to purify compounds but can also be used to identify compounds
  • mass spectrometry gives the Mr of a compound directly and high resolution mass spectrometry can also identify a compound directly from its accurate mass
  • infra red spectroscopy allows rapid identification of organic functional groups
  • nuclear magnet resonance spectroscopy (NMR) , both 13C and 1H, allows the molecular framework of a molecule to be deduced.

Mass spectrometry and infra red spectrosopy are normally studied in year one, whilst chromatography and NMR spectroscopy are studied in year two.

Whilst this list provides a source of information and ideas for experimental work, it is important to note that recommendations can date very quickly. Do NOT follow suggestions which conflict with current advice from CLEAPSS, SSERC or other recent safety guides. eLibrary users are responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is consistent with current regulations related to Health and Safety and that they carry an appropriate risk assessment. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance.’