Raman Spectroscopy and instrumentation for monitoring soil carbon systems [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy, 2003. and Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy
- Additional Creators:
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory, United States. Department of Energy, and United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Restrictions on Access:
- Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- This work describes developments in the application of Raman scattering and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) towards the assessment/characterization of carbon in soil. In the past, the nonspecific total carbon mass content of soil samples has generally been determined through mass loss techniques and elemental analysis. However, because of the concern over CO2 buildup in the atmosphere and its possible role in the ''Greenhouse Effect,'' there is a need for better-defined models of global cycling of carbon. As a means towards this end, there is a need to know more about the structure and functionality of organic materials in soil. Raman spectroscopy may therefore prove to be an exceptional tool in soil carbon analysis. Based on vibrational transitions of irradiated molecules, it provides structural information that is often suitable for sample identification. Furthermore, Raman scattering yields very fine spectral features which offer the potential for multicomponent sample analysis with minimal or no sample pretreatment. Although the intensity of Raman scattering is generally extremely low, the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) effect can greatly enhance Raman signals (106-108 range) through the adsorption of compounds on specially roughened metal surfaces. In our laboratory, we have investigated copper, gold and silver as possible substrate metals in the fabrication of SERS substrates. These substrates have included metal-coated microparticles, metal island films, and redox-roughened metal foils. We have evaluated several laser excitation sources spanning the 515-785 nm range for both Raman and SERS analysis. For this particular study, we have selected fulvic and humic acids as models for establishing the feasibility of using Raman and SERS in soil carbon analysis. Our studies thus far have demonstrated that copper substrates perform best in the SERS detection of humic and fulvic acids, particularly when coupled to electrochemical processes that enhance adsorption of specific compounds. This effect not only yields a stronger signal, but can also impart selectivity in the analysis of complex samples such as soil.
- Published through SciTech Connect., 12/08/2003., "r03-119247", and Stokes, D.L.
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