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.


Inorganics I: Introduction

November 27, 2023

The author dispels the notion that inorganics do not have mid-infrared spectra by providing an overview of the general characteristics of their infrared spectra.

Infrared Spectroscopy of Polymers XII: Polyaramids and Slip Agents

May 01, 2023

Slip agents are commonly used amide small molecules that lubricate the molds in injection molding processes. By studying the spectra of a primary amide, we can see how they can contaminate the spectra of polymeric materials.

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.