Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

25.5 Spectroscopic Properties of Amines

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)


    The infrared spectrum of aniline is shown beneath the following table. Some of the characteristic absorptions for C-H stretching and aromatic ring substitution are also marked, but not colored.

    Amine Class

    Stretching Vibrations

    Bending Vibrations

    Primary (1°)

    The N-H stretching absorption is less sensitive to hydrogen bonding than are O-H absorptions. In the gas phase and in dilute CCl4 solution free N-H absorption is observed in the 3400 to 3500 cm-1 region. Primary aliphatic amines display two well-defined peaks due to asymmetric (higher frequency) and symmetric N-H stretching, separated by 80 to 100 cm-1. In aromatic amines these absorptions are usually 40 to 70 cm-1 higher in frequency. A smaller absorption near 3200 cm-1 (shaded orange in the spectra) is considered to be the result of interaction between an overtone of the 1600 cm-1 band with the symmetric N-H stretching band.
    C-N stretching absorptions are found at 1200 to 1350 cm-1 for aromatic amines, and at 1000 to 1250 cm-1 for aliphatic amines.

    Strong in-plane NH2 scissoring absorptions at 1550 to 1650 cm-1, and out-of-plane wagging at 650 to 900 cm-1 (usually broad) are characteristic of 1°-amines.

    Secondary (2°)

    Secondary amines exhibit only one absorption near 3420 cm-1. Hydrogen bonding in concentrated liquids shifts these absorptions to lower frequencies by about 100 cm-1. Again, this absorption appears at slightly higher frequency when the nitrogen atom is bonded to an aromatic ring.
    The C-N absorptions are found in the same range, 1200 to 1350 cm-1(aromatic) and 1000 to 1250 cm-1 (aliphatic) as for 1°-amines.

    A weak N-H bending absorption is sometimes visible at 1500 to 1600 cm-1. A broad wagging absorption at 650 to 900 cm-1 may be discerned in liquid film samples.

    Tertiary (3°)

    No N-H absorptions. The C-N absorptions are found in the same range, 1200 to 1350 cm-1 (aromatic) and 1000 to 1250 cm-1 (aliphatic) as for 1°-amines.

    Aside from the C-N stretch noted on the left, these compounds have spectra characteristic of their alkyl and aryl substituents.


    The hydrogens attached to an amine show up ~ 0.5-5.0 ppm. The location is dependent on the amount of hydrogen bonding and the sample's concentration.

    The hydrogens on carbons directly bonded to an amine typically appear ~2.3-3.0 ppm.

    This page titled 25.5 Spectroscopic Properties of Amines is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Layne Morsch.

    • Was this article helpful?