IR and NMR are two topics that, at first, seem pretty difficult. These definitely take a little bit of practice before they make any sense. But once you start to get the hang of them, they are fairly straightforward, and some people compare solving NMR problems to solving puzzles.

Essentially, the point of IR and NMR are using chart readings to determine the structure of an atom. IR, or Infrared Spectroscopy, uses a wave-like figure and points of interest on a diagram to determine functional groups. NMR, or Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, uses peaks on a diagram based on equivalent Hydrogen atoms, to determine what a molecule is comprised of. Keep in mind that a NMR that uses Hydrogen atoms is technically known as an h-NMR. A NMR that uses equivalent Carbon atoms is known as a c-NMR.

6 Curated Resources

Introduction to proton NMR

free, Video Series

This is a pretty good introduction to NMR. It gives a little more background than you need, but if you have the time it’s always good to have a solid base to build from. It’s also got some practice at the end.

This is from the University of Calgary, they have a bunch of resources for orgo. This one talks all about NMR and has a ton of specific topics which will come in handy.

NMR Practice Problems

free, Practice

To understand NMR, you’re going to just have to practice a bunch of NMR problems. Here’s a really good place to start, and it’s got C-NMR as well as H-NMR

Infrared Spectroscopy

free, Article

Here’s a good introduction to IR as well as a really useful chart you need to interpret the IR graphs. It talks about all kinds of functional groups and any shifts they may cause.

This is another intro to IR, and this one breaks it up into several articles that deal with relevant subjects including theory, the “Fingerprint Region”, interpretation, etc.

IR Practice Problems

free, Practice Problems

As with NMR, the best way to learn this topic is to practice a bunch. This article walks you through a few problems that’ll help you understand IR.