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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 6 Issue 6 (2001) pp 362-364

Analysis of the Rotational Structure of CO2 by FTIR Spectroscopy

Gustavo González-Gaitano* and José Ramón Isasi

Departamento de Química y Edafología, Universidad de Navarra 31080 Pamplona, Spain
Received July 23, 2001. Accepted September 24, 2001

Published online: 30 November 2001

Abstract. A physical chemistry experiment is described that involves the determination of some spectroscopic parameters of carbon dioxide, a molecule that obeys Bose–Einstein statistics. The main advantage of this experiment is that the spectra are easily recorded, not requiring a gas cell, because the sensitivity and resolution of conventional FTIR spectrometers is good enough to record spectra with a high signal-to-noise ratio and good resolution of the fine rotational structure. From the rotational lines of the antisymmetric stretching band, the moments of inertia and the bond lengths of CO2 in the fundamental and the first-excited state can be accurately obtained. The particular case that carbon dioxide represents helps students understand the restrictions that symmetry and statistics impose on some molecules and the consequences that they have on the absorption of radiation.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; physical chemistry; FTIR; infrared; rotational; spectroscopy

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (166KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Spectrum of CO2 antisymmetric stretching band (3 KB Zip file) 10.1007/s00897010521b
Rotational lines versus m (1 KB Zip file) 10.1007/s00897010521c

Issue date: December 7, 2001

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