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Nujol is a brand of mineral oil by Plough Inc., cas number 8042-47-5, and density 0.838 g/mL at 25 °C, used in infrared spectroscopy
Infrared spectroscopy
Infrared spectroscopy is the spectroscopy that deals with the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, that is light with a longer wavelength and lower frequency than visible light. It covers a range of techniques, mostly based on absorption spectroscopy. As with all spectroscopic...

. It is a heavy paraffin
In chemistry, paraffin is a term that can be used synonymously with "alkane", indicating hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH2n+2. Paraffin wax refers to a mixture of alkanes that falls within the 20 ≤ n ≤ 40 range; they are found in the solid state at room temperature and begin to enter the...

 oil so it is chemically inert
-Chemistry:In chemistry, the term inert is used to describe a substance that is not chemically reactive.The noble gases were previously known as inert gases because of their perceived lack of participation in any chemical reactions...

 and has a relatively uncomplicated IR spectrum, with major peaks between 2950-2800, 1465-1450, and 1380–1370 cm−1. The empirical formula of Nujol is hard to determine exactly because it is a mixture but it is essentially the alkane formula where n is very large.

To obtain an IR spectrum of a solid, a sample is combined with Nujol in a mortar and pestle or some other device to make a mull (a very thick suspension
Suspension (chemistry)
In chemistry, a suspension is a heterogeneous fluid containing solid particles that are sufficiently large for sedimentation. Usually they must be larger than 1 micrometer. The internal phase is dispersed throughout the external phase through mechanical agitation, with the use of certain...

), and is usually sandwiched between potassium- or sodium chloride plates before being placed in the spectrometer. For very reactive samples, the layer of Nujol can provide a protective coating, preventing sample decomposition during acquisition of the IR spectrum. When preparing the sample it is important to keep the sample from being saturated with Nujol, this will result in erroneous spectra since the Nujol peaks will dominate, silencing the actual sample's peaks.

External links

MSDS data sheet

Nujol's historic use as an alternative medicine