Raman Scattering from Minerals

Raman scattering can be used as a tool for the identification of minerals. Since the Raman spectra for different mineral tend to have sharp peaks which form a fairly unique pattern, they can serve as "fingerprints" for minerals. Since the Raman spectra can be collected remotely, they show great promise for planetary exploration.

The illustration at left shows qualitative sketches of Raman spectra displayed by the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis (http://epsc.wustl.edu/haskin-group/Raman/overview.htm). This research group is developing Raman spectrometers for in situ analysis of minerals on planetary surfaces. The spectra are attributed to Wang et al., J. Geophys. Res. 100, p21189-21199 (1995).

Spectra of the common silicate minerals olivine, pyroxene, and plagioclase are compared to a Raman spectrum of a lunar soil sample identified as 71501.


Scattering concepts

Atmospheric optics concepts

Molecular spectra concepts
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