When should I use Raman spectroscopy?

1 Answer
Dec 31, 2014

You can use Raman spectroscopy (RS) whenever you need to use any of its advantages.

Detailed structural information

RS gives more detail on bond vibrations than IR does. Raman bands are narrower and tend not to overlap.

Subtle information.

RS can give information on details such as crystal structure, protein folding, and hydrogen bonding.

No sample preparation

You can use RS on solid, liquid, powder, slurry, or gas samples with little or no preparation.


It takes just a few seconds to obtain a good quality spectrum.


RS requires no contact and is non-destructive.

Insensitive to water

You can analyze samples in water, such as suspensions and biological materials.

Choice of sample size

You can use a microscope to get Raman spectra of individual grains and samples that are smaller than 1 µm or up to several centimetres wide.

3D analysis

You can analyze different layers of samples such as tissue on a microscope slide and materials in transparent containers such as vials or capillary tubes.

Remote analysis

You can use fibre optics up to hundreds of metres long for remote analyses.

Gives complementary information

Strong Raman absorptions usually appear as weak IR signals and vice versa. So the two spectra give different information on the vibrations.

For example, compare the IR and Raman spectra of styrene butadiene rubber.