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J Dent Res. 1994 Nov;73(11):1703-10.

Orientational micro-Raman spectroscopy on hydroxyapatite single crystals and human enamel crystallites.

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  • 1Materia Technica, State University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


Single crystals of synthetic hydroxyapatite have been examined by orientational micro-Raman spectroscopy. The observed Raman bands include the PO4(3-)/OH-internal and external modes over the spectral range from 180 to 3600 cm-1. The Raman-active symmetry tensors (A, E1, and E2) of crystal-class C6 have been assigned to these bands. Intensities of the Raman bands are invariant to the orientation of the a- or b-axis of a single crystal, but depend solely on the c-axis orientation. Changes in the spectral profile thus reflect changes in the c-axis orientation, which, with respect to the known excitation/observation coordinates, can be determined through the angular dependencies of Raman bands due to A and E2 symmetries. The useful bands are those of the PO4(3-)v4 vibrational mode, which contains relatively well-defined bands due to E2 (581 cm-1) and A (593 cm-1) symmetries. A preliminary Raman study on crystallites near the intact outer surface of human enamel has also been carried out. Strong orientational dependencies similar to those of hydroxyapatite single crystals have been observed among the bands in enamel spectra. This suggests that the crystallites in the region investigated are highly oriented. The results were consistent with an averaged orientation of the crystallite c-axis being perpendicular to the outer surface.

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