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Spectroscopy in a Suitcase

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The Long Road Sixth Form College Chemistry department was delighted to be able to invite Dr Andrew Thompson, from the Royal Society of Chemistry, to take part in two A2 Chemistry classes.

Dr Thompson explains: “The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Spectroscopy in a Suitcase scheme give students the chance to learn about spectroscopy through hands-on experience.”

The students used UV/visible spectroscopy to determine the concentration of solutions of aspirin, making coloued complexes with iron (III) chloride. They also used a FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) instrument to characterise various organic compounds, recognising the absorptions of different functional groups within the molecules.

Dr Zoe Thorn, Chemistry teacher, comments: “This has been a great opportunity for our Year 13 Chemistry students to use state of the art lab equipment to analyse chemical compounds. As well as improving their practical skills, they have also gained greater insight into the role of the chemist in industry.”