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Appl Spectrosc. 2008 Nov;62(11):1180-8. doi: 10.1366/000370208786401581.

Raman mapping using advanced line-scanning systems: geological applications.

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Laboratoire de Géologie, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France.


By allowing nondestructive chemical and structural imaging of heterogeneous samples with a micrometer spatial resolution, Raman mapping offers unique capabilities for assessing the spatial distribution of both mineral and organic phases within geological samples. Recently developed line-scanning Raman mapping techniques have made it possible to acquire Raman maps over large, millimeter-sized, zones of interest owing to a drastic decrease of the data acquisition time without losing spatial or spectral resolution. The synchronization of charge-coupled device (CCD) measurements with x,y motorized stage displacement has allowed dynamic line-scanning Raman mapping to be even more efficient: total acquisition time may be reduced by a factor higher than 100 compared to point-by-point mapping. Using two chemically and texturally complex geological samples, a fossil megaspore in a metamorphic rock and aragonite-garnet intergrowths in an Eclogitic marble, we compare here two recent versions of line-scanning Raman mapping systems and discuss their respective advantages and disadvantages in terms of acquisition time, image quality, spatial and imaging resolutions, and signal-to-noise ratio. We show that line-scanning Raman mapping techniques are particularly suitable for the characterization of such samples, which are representative of the general complexity of geological samples.


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