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Front Chem. 2019 Feb 22;7:48. doi: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00048. eCollection 2019.

Breakthrough Potential in Near-Infrared Spectroscopy: Spectra Simulation. A Review of Recent Developments.

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1
Center for Chemistry and Biomedicine, Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry, Leopold-Franzens University, Innsbruck, Austria.

Abstract

Near-infrared (12,500-4,000 cm-1; 800-2,500 nm) spectroscopy is the hallmark for one of the most rapidly advancing analytical techniques over the last few decades. Although it is mainly recognized as an analytical tool, near-infrared spectroscopy has also contributed significantly to physical chemistry, e.g., by delivering invaluable data on the anharmonic nature of molecular vibrations or peculiarities of intermolecular interactions. In all these contexts, a major barrier in the form of an intrinsic complexity of near-infrared spectra has been encountered. A large number of overlapping vibrational contributions influenced by anharmonic effects create complex patterns of spectral dependencies, in many cases hindering our comprehension of near-infrared spectra. Quantum mechanical calculations commonly serve as a major support to infrared and Raman studies; conversely, near-infrared spectroscopy has long been hindered in this regard due to practical limitations. Advances in anharmonic theories in hyphenation with ever-growing computer technology have enabled feasible theoretical near-infrared spectroscopy in recent times. Accordingly, a growing number of quantum mechanical investigations aimed at near-infrared region has been witnessed. The present review article summarizes these most recent accomplishments in the emerging field. Applications of generalized approaches, such as vibrational self-consistent field and vibrational second order perturbation theories as well as their derivatives, and dense grid-based studies of vibrational potential, are overviewed. Basic and applied studies are discussed, with special attention paid to the ones which aim at improving analytical spectroscopy. A remarkable potential arises from the growing applicability of anharmonic computations to solving the problems which arise in both basic and analytical near-infrared spectroscopy. This review highlights an increased value of quantum mechanical calculations to near-infrared spectroscopy in relation to other kinds of vibrational spectroscopy.

KEYWORDS:

NIRS; anharmonic methods; near-infrared; spectra simulation; theoretical spectroscopy

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