Molecular Spectroscopy

5 Applications Of Molecular Spectroscopy

Molecular spectroscopy is the art of studying the various structures and properties of atoms and molecules. These systems emit a large number of wavelengths, which are then exploited to study the properties of the substance that is emitting the wavelength.

Another important property of molecular spectroscopy is to measure the interaction that occurs between electromagnetic waves and matter. There are three basic types of molecular spectroscopy, namely emission, monochromatic radiation absorption, and Fourier transform.

This unique measurement method finds a wide variety of uses in laboratories and other research facilities. Here are some of the most important applications of molecular spectroscopy.

1. Determining the electronic configuration of atoms in the ground and excited states

One major application of molecular spectroscopy is to find out the position and assortment of electrons of different atoms both in the ground as well as in their excited states. This is done by studying the molecular spectra.

Molecular spectra occur either from absorption or radiation of electromagnetic radiation when molecules are quantized (their energy levels are changed) from one state to another. The entire phenomenon is complex because various nuclei interact with each other, as well as with the electrons.

In order to properly analyze the results from molecular spectra, we should take into consideration the effect of different molecular motions and energies.

temperature and velocity

2. Identifying the temperature and velocity of objects in space

The second important application of molecular spectroscopy is to determine the temperature and velocity of astronomical objects.

Astronomical spectroscopy is known as the branch of astronomy that uses spectroscopic techniques to measure the electromagnetic spectrum, including visible light, ultraviolet rays, and infrared rays. The study of different spectral line emissions from different galaxies has made scientists realize that the universe is still expanding rapidly and independent of any fixed direction.

This particular discovery was made on the basis of the Doppler shift in the spectral lines. Using molecular spectrometry, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson determined the temperature of blackbody radiation, thought to be a remnant of the Big Bang.

3. Finding the composition of materials in an unknown chemical compound

UV visible spectroscopy is used to find out the composition of materials in a chemical compound where its constituents are unknown. Radiation occurring in the ultraviolet and visible regions of the spectrum contains enough energy to excite the electrons from their current orbital energy to a higher energy orbital.

The electrons that are most easily excited are the conjugated π bonds. Aromatic compounds and 1,3-dienes. If you wish to study chemical compounds in your own laboratory, Agilent molecular spectroscopy tools are just the right apparatus for you. With more than 16,300 employees, Agilent is the leading manufacturer of various premium-quality lab instruments.

unknown chemical compound

4. Measuring molecular mass

Molecular mass spectroscopy helps to find out the mass of different molecules. This technique ionizes chemical species and differentiates the ions on the basis of their mass-to-charge ratio. To put it simply, molecular mass spectroscopy measures masses within a sample.

This can be applied to measure both pure samples as well as complicated mixtures of different chemicals. A mass spectrum is generated, which is a graphical plot of the ion signal as a function of the mass-to-charge ratio.

These resulting spectra are then used to determine the elemental or isotopic signatures of the given sample or the masses of the molecules. The chemical structures of various peptides and other compounds can also be studied using molecular mass spectroscopy.

5. Studying metal dusting corrosion

The interrogation of molecular vibrations in both crystalline, as well as amorphous solids by Raman and molecular spectroscopy, can help us to understand the properties of metal dusting corrosion.

In solid materials, the phonons are detectable by molecular spectroscopy and are characteristic features of molecular and crystalline objects. Since carbon dusting corrosion deals primarily with solid phases, molecular spectroscopy is widely used in experiments here.

metal dusting corrosion

The most commonly used methods for measuring the various molecular spectra are made on the basis of Raman scattering and the absorption and transmission of infrared radiation.


Molecular spectroscopy is gaining a wide audience due to the fact that it can be used to study a huge number of things. From understanding the rotation of chemical bonds to measuring the bond length and bond angles of different molecules, this measurement technique is both fast and accurate. Molecular spectroscopy also finds applications in many different industries, such as pharmaceutical research and development and home improvement studies.

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