Introduction to Vibrational Spectroscopy — From the Normal Mode to the Local Mode: Infrared, Raman and Inelastic Neutron Scattering

  • Francois Fillaux
Part of the Progress in Mathematics book series (NSSA)


Atoms in molecular entities and in crystals are oscillating around their equilibrium position. This fact has been recognized many decades ago when it appeared that it is possible to observe vibrational spectra with specific excitation and detection devices. Measurements of vibrational frequencies is one of the most important goals in molecular spectroscopy. They provide valuable information concerning the structure and dynamics of atoms and molecules. The absorption or emission spectra arising from the vibrational motion of a molecule which is not electronically excited is mostly in the infrared region. The internal vibrations, which are mainly related to the nature of the chemical bonds, are generally observed between 200 and 4000 cm −1, i.e. their frequencies are between 6 × 1012 and 120 × 1012 Hz and their periods between ∼0.3 × 10−12 and 0.8 x 10−15 sec. Most of the vibrations due to much weaker intermolecular interactions, sometimes denoted external vibrations, appear below 200 cm−1. In some cases, it is not possible to distinguish internal and external vibrations. This is the case for large systems such as enzymes where very low frequency vibrations related to the protein folding may occur.


Normal Mode Vibrational Spectroscopy Normal Vibration Inelastic Neutron Transition Moment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francois Fillaux
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Spectrochimie Infrarouge et RamanCentre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueThiaisFrance

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