CHEM 766/7660 - Organic Spectroscopy

Semester: Fall 2022

Professor: G. Murphy | Discipline: Organic | Campus: Waterloo


Chemistry 766: Organic Spectroscopy is a graduate-level discussion on the use of spectroscopic techniques in organic chemistry.  This course will focus specifically on the use of spectroscopic data for the identification and structural elucidation of organic molecules.  Students will learn to effectively use a combination of datasets, consisting of mass spectroscopy (MS), infrared (IR) spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, for correctly identifying unknown organic compounds.  Most importantly, the process by which such determinations are made will play a central theme in this course.  This course will be taught using a problem solving-based approach to learning both the theoretical and practical aspects of spectroscopy in organic chemistry.


  • Improve one’s ability to analyze and interpret spectroscopic data
  • Understand the process by which spectroscopic data is used for determining structures of organic substances
  • Improve one’s ability to use logic-based analysis and interpretation when solving multi-variate problems


  • Texts: None are required.
    • The textbook “Spectroscopic Methods in Organic Chemistry” 6th, by Williams and Fleming is suggested (if you can find it), as it will prove a valuable resource both now and in the future. Earlier editions of the book may also be suitable.
    • The textbook “Spectrometric Identification of Organic Compounds” (6th – 8th) by Silverstein is also highly recommended for those engaged in graduate-level study of organic chemistry.
  • Course Pack: This is required, and is available as a PDF (on LEARN).
  • Additional handouts (data tables, etc.) will be provided on LEARN. Students are expected to locate these files and have them available for reference throughout the course (and on the exam).
  • The theoretical aspects of the spectroscopic methods covered are presented as videos, which you are to watch outside of class time. Copies of the blank slides are available on LEARN.
  • Interpretation of spectra will be done as interactive exercises, manipulating real data during the lectures.

Reference spectra website: SDBS Web:





  • Students are expected work through the course materials, attend class and participate in discussion. The logic and reasoning debates we will engage in are where you will do most of your learning, so attendance is mandatory. A proposed timetable for the course is provided on LEARN in the course introduction.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to spend at least one hour per hour of class time reviewing course material and attempting to solve problems on their own ahead of time.


  • Tue: 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm in C2 278

Office Hours

o Office: C2-367 o Phone: 519-888-4657 x31735 o Email: [email protected] • Office hours: None scheduled. When I am on campus, I am usually found in my office, on TEAMS or in my lab (C2-366, C2-372). Appointments can also be made via email or in person for chats via TEAMS, etc.