A new concentration series is proposed for the construction of a two-dimensional (2D) synchronous spectrum for orthogonal sample design analysis to probe intermolecular interaction between solutes dissolved in the same solutions. The obtained 2D synchronous spectrum possesses the following two properties: (1) cross peaks in the 2D synchronous spectra can be used to reflect intermolecular interaction reliably, since interference portions that have nothing to do with intermolecular interaction are completely removed, and (2) the two-dimensional synchronous spectrum produced can effectively avoid accidental collinearity. Hence, the correct number of nonzero eigenvalues can be obtained so that the number of chemical reactions can be estimated. In a real chemical system, noise present in one-dimensional spectra may also produce nonzero eigenvalues. To get the correct number of chemical reactions, we classified nonzero eigenvalues into significant nonzero eigenvalues and insignificant nonzero eigenvalues. Significant nonzero eigenvalues can be identified by inspecting the pattern of the corresponding eigenvector with help of the Durbin-Watson statistic. As a result, the correct number of chemical reactions can be obtained from significant nonzero eigenvalues. This approach provides a solid basis to obtain insight into subtle spectral variations caused by intermolecular interaction.

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