Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Chemistry Dept.


D. Whitney King

Second Advisor

Wayne L. Smith

Third Advisor

Thomas W. Shattuck


Raman scattering, discovered in 1928(1), is a process in which the wavelengths of scattered light are shifted to longer or shorter wavelengths through interactions with molecular vibrations and rotations in a sample. Liquid samples will be expected to show only bands of essentially vibrational origin, irrespective of the resolving power, since free rotation is inhibited in the sample.(2) Raman spectroscopy, as an analytical tool, is complementary to IR spectroscopy, because both methods arise from interactions of molecular vibrations with light. The two methods are different, because Raman spectroscopy relies on vibration ally induced changes in molecular polarizability, while IR spectroscopy relies on vibrationally induced changes in the molecular dipole of the sample. Thus some Raman active peaks are not IR active and vice versa. The Oriel CCO-based Raman spectroscopy system allowed faculty and students the opportunity to study Raman energy shifts. The system is designed to use a 790nm 25mW Diode Laser. Incident Raman signals are detected in a tenth of a second through a CCO (Charge-Coupled Device). The CCO device was purchased for $23,000 with an entire system package of $28,000. The aim of this project was to construct the system from its components, characterize the system for academic use, and to investigate an iron-oxygen-magnesium solution phase complex in conjunction with work by King et. at,


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C.V. Raman, Raman scattering, light, spectroscopy, Oriel CCD