Raman-FTIR Applications

Typical applications for combined Raman-FTIR systems include all fields of microanalysis that stand to benefit from the availability of rapid acquisition of both Raman and FTIR spectra, including areas such as forensics, pharmaceutical, biomedical, art, and semiconductors.

Some key examples are given below, but should in no way be considered exhaustive. If you would like to discuss a specific application in more detail please contact us - a local sales engineer would be happy to discuss how combined Raman-FTIR could solve your analytical problems.


Forensic Science applications are particularly well suited to the combined Raman-FTIR technology. A key requirement is fast, non-destructive material identification of trace evidence, including biological to inorganic samples, polymers or controlled drugs.

As an example the image below shows the Raman and IR spectra of Hydrofil, a block copolymer of nylon 6 and PEG (polyethylene glycol).

This example illustrates several points: on one hand, Raman bands tend to be sharper so that separation of overlapping species may be easier and the spectrum presents the oxide bands of the titanium dioxide pigment in its anatase form (395, 515 and 635cm-1). On the other hand, FTIR shows increased sensitivity to the –NH band (at about 3300 cm-1) and Amide I band (1650 cm-1) - the Amide II band (1550cm-1) is visible only in the FTIR spectrum.


The spatial resolution of FTIR (between 5 and 20 μm) is not as good as that provided by Raman (<1 μm) but for large features,  complete 2D chemical image can be obtained in FTIR.

The following figure presents a FTIR map of a bone section. Two main phases are identified: the mineral is carbonated hydroxyapatite (a type of calcium phosphate) and the matrix is an organic tissue.


Simultaneous in-situ Raman and FTIR characterizations of catalytic systems under reaction conditions can be performed with the LabRAM IR2 using a dedicated catalyst cell.

An example application is the in situ characterization of NO absorption on alumina supported palladium catalysts. Raman spectroscopy offers access to the low frequencies and so characterizes the oxide species of the catalyst material, whereas FTIR is sensitive to adsorbed species.