IR Spectroscopy Tutorial: Esters

The carbonyl stretch C=O of aliphatic esters appears from 1750-1735 cm-1; that of α, β-unsaturated esters appears from 1730-1715 cm-1. See also:

The C–O stretches appear as two or more bands in the region 1300-1000 cm-1.


The spectra of ethyl acetate and ethyl benzoate are shown below. Note that the C=O stretch of ethyl acetate (1752) is at a higher wavelength than that of the α, β-unsaturated ester ethyl benzoate (1726). Also note the C–O stretches in the region 1300-1000 cm-1.