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Issue 1, 2012
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Total internal reflection Raman spectroscopy

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Total internal reflection (TIR) Raman spectroscopy is an experimentally straightforward, surface-sensitive technique for obtaining chemically specific spectroscopic information from a region within approximately 100–200 nm of a surface. While TIR Raman spectroscopy has long been overshadowed by surface-enhanced Raman scattering, with modern instrumentation TIR Raman spectra can be acquired from sub-nm thick films in only a few seconds. In this review, we describe the physical basis of TIR Raman spectroscopy and illustrate the performance of the technique in the diverse fields of surfactant adsorption, liquid crystals, lubrication, polymer films and biological interfaces, including both macroscopic structures such as the surfaces of leaves, and microscopic structures such as lipid bilayers. Progress, and challenges, in using TIR Raman to obtain depth profiles with sub-diffraction resolution are described.

Graphical abstract: Total internal reflection Raman spectroscopy

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Article information

08 Aug 2011
01 Sep 2011
First published
14 Oct 2011

Analyst, 2012,137, 35-48
Article type
Critical Review

Total internal reflection Raman spectroscopy

D. A. Woods and C. D. Bain, Analyst, 2012, 137, 35
DOI: 10.1039/C1AN15722A

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