Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy has been used to reveal the nature of functional groups on the surface of soot. Bands which showed isotopic shifts upon regenerating soot functionalities with <sup>18</sup>O<sub>2</sub> in the 1700 cm<sup>−1</sup> and 1200 cm<sup>−1</sup> regions were assigned to ketone-like carbonyl and ether-like groups on the surface, while the 1590 cm<sup>−1</sup> band, which fails to show any isotopic shift upon the reoxidation of soot with <sup>18</sup>O<sub>2</sub> at high temperature, has been assigned to a carbonyl group conjugated with aromatic ring segments. Bands in the 800 cm<sup>−1</sup> were given no definite assignments (Fig. 1). Logical origins of these bands could be the C-H out-of-plane bending of highly substituted aromatic compounds or stretching modes of peroxides or hydroperoxides. An attempt is made in this work to substantiate the origin of these bands.

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