Analytical Chemistry

Functional Group Identification for FTIR Spectra Using Image-Based Machine Learning Models


Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) is a ubiquitous spectroscopic technique. Spectral interpretation is a time-consuming process, but it yields important information about functional groups present in compounds and in complex substances. We develop a generalizable model via a machine learning (ML) algorithm using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) to identify the presence of functional groups in gas phase FTIR spectra. The ML models will reduce the amount of time required to analyze functional groups and facilitate interpretation of FTIR spectra. Through web scraping, we acquire intensity-frequency data from 8728 gas phase organic molecules within the NIST spectral database and transform the data into images. We successfully train models for 15 of the most common organic functional groups, which we then determine via identification from previously untrained spectra. These models serve to expand the application of FTIR measurements for facile analysis of organic samples. Our approach was done such that we have broad functional group models that inference in tandem to provide full interpretation of a spectrum. We present the first implementation of ML using image-based CNNs for predicting functional groups from a spectroscopic method.

Version notes

SI available upon request.


Thumbnail image of ML functional group ID in FTIR spectra.pdf

Supplementary material

Thumbnail image of ML functional group ID in FTIR spectra.docx
ML functional group ID in FTIR spectra