A novel concept in vibrational spectroscopy called <i>two-dimensional infrared (2D IR) spectroscopy</i> is described. In 2D IR, a spectrum defined by two independent wavenumbers is generated by a cross-correlation analysis of dynamic fluctuations of IR signals induced by an external perturbation. 2D IR spectra are especially suited for elucidating various chemical interactions among functional groups. Notable features of the 2D IR approach are: simplification of complex spectra consisting of many overlapped peaks; enhancement of spectral resolution by spreading peaks over the second dimension; and establishment of unambiguous assignments through correlation analysis of bands selectively coupled by various interaction mechanisms. The procedure for generating 2D IR correlation spectra and the properties of the 2D spectra are discussed in detail. Examples of 2D IR spectra are presented for atactic polystyrene and the proteinacious component of human stratum corneum to demonstrate the utility of this technique.
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