Brian C. Smith

Brian C. Smith, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Big Sur Scientific, a maker of portable mid-infrared cannabis analyzers. He has over 30 years experience as an industrial infrared spectroscopist, has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, and has written three books on spectroscopy. As a trainer, he has helped thousands of people around the world improve their infrared analyses. In addition to writing for Spectroscopy, Dr. Smith writes a regular column for its sister publication Cannabis Science and Technology and sits on its editorial board. He earned his PhD in physical chemistry from Dartmouth College.


The Infrared Spectra of Polymers, VII: Polymers with Carbonyl (C=O) Bonds

August 01, 2022

We continue our survey of the infrared (IR) spectra of polymers with a look at the spectra of polymers that contain carbonyl or C=O bonds. Our long-term goal is to examine the spectra of polymers that contain ketone, carboxylic acid, ester, and carbonate linkages. Studying these spectra is vital, because these molecules are important economically and are ubiquitous in society.

The Infrared Spectra of Polymers, Part I: Introduction

July 01, 2021

Polymers contain practically every infrared functional group imaginable. Now that we understand infrared functional groups from previous articles, it is time to look at the spectra of polymers in greater detail.

Spectral Subtraction

May 01, 2021

Determining the components in a mixture can be a significant challenge in infrared spectroscopy, but spectral subtraction can help. We show the proper way to perform spectral subtraction, and the pitfalls to avoid.