Raman spectroscopy offers a wide range of molecular and material structural information, and in combination with a high magnification optical microscope, offers a unique suite of analysis capabilities for EMSL’s team of experienced scientists. Raman spectroscopy detects the very faint spectrum of light frequencies that are created when a high intensity source of light interacts with a sample. These low intensity spectral features are caused by the mobilization of electrons across bonds in the sample, consuming some of the primary input energy in creating polarization, and the emitting a lower energy photon. Because it is typically electron polarizability across molecular bonds that is measured, Raman is often used to provide similar molecular structural information to IR spectroscopy, though with differences based on light-sample interaction.
While Raman can often give similar information to FTIR analysis, the two are very complementary, with Raman showing some strong advantages. The use of optical frequencies both reduces the interaction volume with the sample compared to IR wavelengths, as well as decreases the line width in obtained spectral features. This allows for much smaller residues or features to be examined, as well as allows for fine shifts in peak energy to inform phenomena such as lattice strain or intermolecular bonding dynamics. Raman is also not strongly impacted by the presence of water, allowing for easier analysis of proteins, biological compounds or solutions. With the use of surface enhancement substrates, Raman can also be used to detect very small sample volumes, often achieving sensitivity down to the single digits of molecules. With the capability to determine not only molecular spectra of complex organic samples, but also investigate inorganic structural properties on a micro-scale, micro Raman spectroscopy tools give EMSL’s breadth of analytical staff an additional tool to assist you with your challenging samples and problems. Call us so we can assist you with your needs.