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Orientation-Insensitive Spectra for Raman Microspectroscopy

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Abstract:

Separating effects due to molecular conformation from those due to orientation in the spectra of oriented samples obtained by Raman microspectroscopy is a complex issue. To solve this problem, we propose a procedure to calculate an orientation-insensitive spectrum (so-called isotropic spectrum) from polarized spectra obtained by Raman microspectroscopy that is valid for systems that exhibit a uniaxial symmetry. The method has first been tested on highly oriented samples of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Polarized and isotropic spectra of a highly oriented HDPE cylindrical rod and an isotropic HDPE sample have been compared. The differences in the relative intensities, which occur in the polarized spectra and are due to orientation of the polyethylene chains, are nearly cancelled in the isotropic spectra, showing that the orientation-insensitive spectrum adequately represents the molecular conformation without contributions of orientation. Second, spectra of silk fibroins have been compared in the amide I region for Bombyx mori cocoon silk fibers and methanol-treated regenerated fibroin films. The similarity of the shape of the amide I band of the isotropic spectra indicates that the secondary structure of the fibroins is very close in both samples. These experimental results support the conclusion that the molecular conformation can be efficiently characterized from the intensity and the shape of Raman bands in the orientation-insensitive spectrum.

Keywords: B. MORI COCOON SILK; HIGH-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE; MOLECULAR CONFORMATION; MOLECULAR ORIENTATION; POLARIZED SPECTRA; RAMAN MICROSPECTROSCOPY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1366/000370206778062039

Affiliations: Centre de Recherche en Sciences et Ingénierie des Macromolécules, Centre de Recherche sur la Fonction, la Structure et l'Ingénierie des Protéines, Département de Chimie, Université Laval, Pavillon Alexandre-Vachon, Québec (Québec), Canada G1K 7P4

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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