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Advanced Organic Chemistry: Infrared spectrum of Methylbenzene (Toluene)

Interpreting the infrared spectrum of Methylbenzene (Toluene)

Doc Brown's Chemistry Advanced Level Pre-University Chemistry Revision Study Notes for UK IB KS5 A/AS GCE advanced A level organic chemistry students US K12 grade 11 grade 12 organic chemistry courses involving molecular spectroscopy analysing infrared spectra

infrared spectrum of methylbenzene toluene wavenumbers cm-1 functional group detection fingerprint pattern identification of methylbenzene doc brown's advanced organic chemistry revision notes 

Spectra obtained from a liquid film of methylbenzene. The right-hand part of the of the infrared spectrum of methylbenzene, wavenumbers ~1500 to 400 cm-1 is considered the fingerprint region for the identification of methylbenzene and most organic compounds. It is due to a unique set of complex overlapping vibrations of the atoms of the molecule of methylbenzene.

Methylbenzene  C7H8, C6H5CH3 (c) doc b , (c) doc b , (c) doc b

Interpretation of the infrared spectrum of Methylbenzene (Toluene)

The most prominent infrared absorption lines of methylbenzene

Absorption at wavenumbers ~3000 to 3100 cm-1 is typical of (benzene ring) C-H stretching vibrations of aromatic compounds (~3050 cm-1 for methylbenzene).

Around wavenumber 2940 cm-1 is an absorption band due to C-H vibrations in the side-chain methyl group of methylbenzene.

In the wavenumber 1440 to 1625 cm-1 region are band of absorptions due to vibrations of the bonds in the benzene ring of methylbenzene.

The absorption pattern around 700 cm-1 is typical of a benzene compound with just one substituent group in the ring (like methylbenzene).

The absence of other specific functional group bands will show that particular functional group is absent from the methylbenzene molecular structure.


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