Issue 6, 2015

Universal enantioselective discrimination by Raman spectroscopy


Distinguishing between the enantiomers of chiral substances and their quantification is an analytical challenge, in particular in the pharmaceutical and biochemical sectors. A Raman spectroscopic method for discrimination of enantiomers is proposed. Advantage is taken of the polarization properties when Raman scattering occurs in an optically active medium. It is shown that a conventional polarization-resolved Raman setup leads to identical spectra of the two enantiomers. However, inserting a half-wave retarder to rotate the signal polarization by a fixed angle enables the efficient and universal enantiomeric discrimination. Hence, the applicability of any polarization-resolved Raman experiment can be improved substantially without significant modification of the setup or the use of chiral labeling or the addition of a substrate for selective plasmonic enhancement. In principle, the proposed technique allows simultaneous speciation, enantiomeric discrimination, as well as structural and quantitative analysis.

Graphical abstract: Universal enantioselective discrimination by Raman spectroscopy

Article information

Article type
03 Dec 2014
28 Jan 2015
First published
28 Jan 2015
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Analyst, 2015,140, 1787-1790

Author version available

Universal enantioselective discrimination by Raman spectroscopy

J. Kiefer and K. Noack, Analyst, 2015, 140, 1787 DOI: 10.1039/C4AN02218A

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