Matrix-isolated (MI) Fourier transform infrared spectra (FT-IR) have been collected on a series of esters and ketones. The values for the carbonyl absorption are intermediate between the values for vapor-phase (VP) and solid-state (SS) phases. The spectra reveal a splitting or broadening of the carbonyl absorption in the majority of cases for both compound types. The splitting, on the order of 5 to 10 cm<sup>−1</sup>, does not appear to be a function of concentration at ≤20 ng on the cryogenic disk. The splitting is also not unequivocally due to steric hindrance about the carbonyl group. Compounds with liner as well as branched substituents display spectra having split carbonyl absorptions. Isolation of molecules within multiple types of matrix sites is advanced as the predominant cause of the splitting phenomenon. Implications and consequences of the observed splitting are discussed.
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