Analytical chemistry introductions

electromagnetic radiation

Introduction to spectroscopy

Get back to basics with this primer on the principles of spectroscopic techniques, including infrared (IR), ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). To make it even easier, each technique has clear explanations and descriptions supported by animations.

vibrational frequencies

Infrared (IR) spectroscopy

Absorption of infrared radiation brings about changes in molecular vibrations within molecules and ‘measurements’ of the ways in which bonds vibrate gives rise to infrared spectroscopy. Atom size, bond length and bond strength vary in molecules and so the frequency at which a particular bond absorbs infrared radiation will be different over a range of bonds and modes of vibration.

eye rods and cones

Ultraviolet–visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy

Learn how UV-visible radiation can be used to shed light on chemical identification and how our senses percept colour. From the theory behind molecular orbitals and electronic transitions to the application of this technique with relatable examples. Includes examples and interactive simulations to aid understanding.

nuclear magnetic resonance

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy

Discover how nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy works, with this series of topics breaking down the fundamental theory. Covering the electronic environment of atoms right up to demonstrating the practical identification of molecules. Includes examples and interactive simulations to aid understanding.

adsorption chromatography


Chromatography covers a broad range of physical methods used to separate and/or analyse complex mixtures. It can be preparative or analytical and has a wide range of applications.

mass spectrometer

Mass spectrometry (MS)

Mass spectrometry is a powerful technique in the modern analytic laboratory. Learn the fundamental theory behind the operation of a mass spectrometer.