Dissemination of IT for the Promotion of Materials Science (DoITPoMS)


Advantages and disadvantages


Raman spectroscopy has a number of advantages over other analysis techniques.

  • Can be used with solids, liquids or gases.
  • No sample preparation needed. For infrared spectroscopy solids must be ground into KBr pellets or with nujol to form a mull.
  • Non-destructive
  • No vacuum needed unlike some techniques, which saves on expensive vacuum equipment.
  • Short time scale. Raman spectra can be acquired quickly.
  • Can work with aqueous solutions (infrared spectroscopy has trouble with aqueous solutions because the water interferes strongly with the wavelengths used)
  • Glass vials can be used (unlike in infrared spectroscopy, where the glass causes interference)
  • Can use down fibre optic cables for remote sampling.

...and disadvantages

  • Cannot be used for metals or alloys.
  • The Raman effect is very weak, which leads to low sensitivity, making it difficult to measure low concentrations of a substance. This can be countered by using one of the alternative techniques (e.g. Resonance Raman) which increases the effect.
  • Can be swamped by fluorescence from some materials.