IR Spectroscopy Tutorial: Ketones

The carbonyl stretching vibration band C=O of saturated aliphatic ketones appears at 1715 cm-1. Conjugation of the carbonyl group with carbon-carbon double bonds or phenyl groups, as in alpha, beta-unsaturated aldehydes and benzaldehyde, shifts this band to lower wavenumbers, 1685-1666 cm-1. See also:


The spectrum of 2-butanone is shown below. This is a saturated ketone, and the C=O band appears at 1715. Note the C–H stretches (around 2991) of alkyl groups. It's usually not necessary to mark any of the bands in the fingerprint region (less than 1500 cm-1).