Metal carbonyls and isocyanides have characteristic peaks in infrared spectra. While the energies are useful in a qualitative determination of relative bond strengths, a more quantitative approach is needed to cross-compare similar complexes. Using a harmonic oscillator approximation, it is possible to determine the effective force constants of carbon-oxygen and carbon-nitrogen bonds. This allowed me to show that negatively charged bis(diphenylphosphinomethyl)diphenylborate used in our laboratory is a better donor than its neutral analogue 1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)ethane.

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