IR Spectroscopy is another important tool for organic chemical analysis and structural identification. An IR spectrum is produced by absorption of energy (4000-400 cm-1) due to vibrations of polar covalent bonds. The absorption of radiation in this region results in the excitation of vibrational, rotational, and translation modes of the molecule. The resultant spectrum and data is used to identify the functional groups in an organic compound such as aromatics, alcohols, acids, etc. The high sensitivity of the instrument makes it an excellent tool for intermediate steps in the experimentation for the search for life on Mars.
A sample IR instrument (http://www.remspec.com/):
FunctionalityIR Spectrometry is a versatile instrument, so it is feasible to have several machines on Mars – one in the permanent habitat and, if possible, on the LMRs.
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