Techniques to probe the electronic properties of Inorganic Molecules and Solids presented with the help of GIFs

Inorganic chemistry is the study of the synthesis and behavior of inorganic and organometallic compounds. This field covers all chemical compounds except the organic compounds (carbon based compounds, usually containing C-H bonds). The distinction between the two disciplines is far from absolute, and there is much overlap, most importantly in the sub-discipline of organometallic chemistry. It has applications in every aspect of the chemical industry including catalysis, materials science, pigments, coatings, medicine, fuel, and agriculture. Inorganic chemistry is closely associated with various methods of analysis, a few of which are covered in this feature.

1) Dual Waveguide Interferometer

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Dual-waveguide interferometry is an analytical technique that probes molecular layers adsorbed to the surface of a waveguide using the wave of a laser beam. This technique measures the conformation and conformational change of inorganic molecules. The DPI technique rotates the polarization of the laser, to alternately excite two polarization modes of the waveguides.  The polarization can be switched rapidly, allowing real-time measurements of chemical reactions taking place on a chip surface in a flow-through system. These measurements can be used to infer conformational information about the molecular interactions taking place. DPI is typically used to characterize biochemical interactions by quantifying any conformational change at the same time as measuring reaction rates, affinities and thermodynamics.

2) X-Ray Crystallography

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X-ray crystallography is a tool used for identifying the atomic and molecular structure of a crystal, in which the crystalline atoms cause a beam of incident X-rays to diffract into many specific directions. By measuring the angles and intensities of these diffracted beams, a crystallographer can produce a three-dimensional picture of the density of electrons within the crystal. From this electron density, the mean positions of the atoms in the crystal can be determined, as well as their chemical bonds, their disorder and various other information.

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3) Ultraviolet Visible Spectroscopy

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Ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy (UV/Vis) refers to absorption spectroscopy or reflectance spectroscopy in the ultraviolet-visible spectral region. This means it uses light in the visible and adjacent (near-UV and near-infrared [NIR]) ranges. The absorption or reflectance in the visible range directly affects the perceived color of the chemicals involved. Historically, this has been an important tool, since many inorganic compounds are strongly colored. The animation shows a Double Beam Ultraviolet Spectrometer and it's working.

4) NMR Spectroscopy

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Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is a research technique that exploits the magnetic properties of certain atomic nuclei. It determines the physical and chemical properties of atoms or the molecules in which they are contained. It relies on the phenomenon of nuclear magnetic resonance and can provide detailed information about the structure, dynamics, reaction state, and chemical environment of molecules. The intramolecular magnetic field around an atom in a molecule changes the resonance frequency, thus giving access to details of the electronic structure of a molecule.

5) Infrared Spectroscopy

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Infrared spectroscopy (IR spectroscopy) is the spectroscopy that deals with the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is light with a longer wavelength and lower frequency than visible light. As with all spectroscopic techniques, it can be used to identify and study chemicals. In case of inorganic molecules and solids, it is mostly used for absorptions from carbonyl ligands. For a given sample which may be solid, liquid, or gaseous, the method or technique of infrared spectroscopy uses an instrument called an infrared spectrometer (or spectrophotometer) to produce an infrared spectrum. A basic IR spectrum is essentially a graph of infrared light absorbance (or maybe transmittance) on the vertical axis vs. frequency or wavelength on the horizontal axis. The animation shows a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) which uses the technique of IR Spectroscopy.

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6) Electron Spin Resonance (ESR)

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It is a technique for studying materials with unpaired electrons. The basic concepts of ESR are analogous to those of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), but it is electron spins that are excited instead of the spins of atomic nuclei. Because most stable molecules have all their electrons paired, the ESR technique is less widely used than NMR. However, this limitation also means that ESR offers great specificity, since ordinary chemical solvents and matrices do not give rise to ESR spectra. ESR also allows for the measurement of the environment of paramagnetic metal centers.

7) Cyclic Voltammetry

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Cyclic voltammetry is a type of potentiodynamic electrochemical measurement. In a cyclic voltammetry experiment the working electrode potential is ramped linearly versus time. Cyclic voltammetry takes the experiment a step further than linear sweep voltammetry which ends when it reaches a set potential. When cyclic voltammetry reaches a set potential, the working electrode's potential ramp is inverted. This inversion can happen multiple times during a single experiment. The current at the working electrode is plotted versus the applied voltage to give the cyclic voltammogram trace. Cyclic voltammetry is generally used to study the electrochemical properties of an analyte in solution. The animation shows a cyclic voltammogram of hydroxy-ferrocene.

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8869   16/07/2014

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