The Spectroscopy Laboratory has a focus on vibrational spectroscopy techniques, Raman and infrared, enabling chemical characterisation and micron-scale mapping of solids, liquids and powders. The lab hosts three Raman spectrometers (one with photoluminescence capability), an FTIR spectrometer, a CD spectrometer, and a UV-Visible spectrometer.
Applications of vibrational spectroscopy include:
- Mineral identification - identification and mapping of titania phases (Raman).
- Crystal strain measurement - strain imposed by defect structures in semiconductors (Raman).
- Chemical characterisation and crystallinity determinations of polymers (Infrared and Raman).
- Chemical characterisation of polymers and small organic molecules via library matching (Infrared and Raman).
- Biological samples - mapping lipid and amino acid rich areas in cells (Infrared and Raman).
- Identification of metal-ligand bonds in complexes (Infrared and Raman).
- Characterisation of carbon fullerenes and nanotubes (Raman).
Applications of circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy:
- Analysis of secondary structure or conformation of macromolecules or supramolecular aggregates in solution.
- Changes in secondary structure due to binding events between molecules.
- Changes in secondary structure due to temperature changes (eg. oligonucleotide melting).
Applications of UV-Visible and Photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy:
- Spectrophotometric assays (UV-Vis).
- Band-gap measurements of transparent films and solid thin films (UV-Vis and PL).