A novel method of obtaining high-quality Raman spectra of luminescent samples was tested using cyclohexane solutions which had been treated with a fluorescent dye. The method involves removing the fixed pattern irregularity found in the spectra taken with CCD detectors by subtracting spectra taken at several different, closely spaced spectrometer positions. It is conceptually similar to SERDS (shifted excitation Raman difference spectroscopy) but has the distinct experimental advantage that it does not require a tunable laser source. The subtracted spectra obtained as the raw data are converted into a more recognisable and conventional form by iterative fitting of appropriate double Lorentzian functions whose peak parameters are then used to ‘reconstruct’ a conventional representation of the spectrum. Importantly, it is shown that the degree of uncertainty in the resultant ‘reconstructed’ spectra can be gauged reliably by comparing reconstructed spectra obtained at two different spectrometer shifts (δ and 2δ). The method was illustrated and validated using a solvent (cyclohexane) the spectrum of which is well known and which contains both regions with complex overlapping bands and regions with isolated bands. Possible sources of error are discussed and it is shown that, provided the degree of uncertainty in the data is correctly characterised, it is completely valid to draw conclusions about the spectra of the sample on the basis of the reconstructed data. The acronym SSRS (subtracted shifted Raman spectroscopy; pronounced scissors) is proposed for this method, to distinguish it from the SERDS technique.
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