infrared spectroscopy AS chemistry question

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Bertybassett
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Hello, in regards to infrared spectroscopy, I was wondering, if you had a peak on a graph at say 3400, how would you know if the peak was for the function group n-h or o-h? the given range of their wavenumbers overlap?

What I don't understand is that the values for the wavenumbers of different functional groups sometimes overlap, so how do you differentiate between them?
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charco
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(Original post by Bertybassett)
Hello, in regards to infrared spectroscopy, I was wondering, if you had a peak on a graph at say 3400, how would you know if the peak was for the function group n-h or o-h? the given range of their wavenumbers overlap?

What I don't understand is that the values for the wavenumbers of different functional groups sometimes overlap, so how do you differentiate between them?
In short, you can't.

IR is not able to identify components, only to give hints as to what may be present. There are a few functional groups that produce fairly characteristic absorbances, such as carbonyl and hydrogen bonded OH (and NH), but in general IR is used to give clues as to the possible functional groups as well as absolute identification using the overall fingerprint of an unknown against the IR spectrum of a database.
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