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19.9: Advantages and Disadvantages

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  • Advantages...

    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.
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