Application of Raman and Fluorescence Spectroscopy to Single Chromatographic Beads

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: Chromatography is a powerful technique, essential in chemical analyses and preparative separation in industry and research. Many different kinds of chromatographic material are needed, due to the large variety of applications. Detailed methods of characterisation are needed to design new chromatographic materials and understand their properties. In this thesis, confocal Raman spectroscopy and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) have been applied to micrometer-size chromatographic beads, for which these techniques have not been used earlier. New methodology, optimized for use with the chromatographic beads, has been developed and evaluated. Confocal spectroscopy has been used to determine distributions of functional groups within single chromatographic beads. This distribution is of great importance in determining the chromatographic properties, since the material is porous and the solute molecules can diffuse inside the beads. Most of the confocal experiments have been performed with Raman spectroscopy; fluorescence spectroscopy, using Nd3+ ions or dye-labelled proteins as fluorescence probes, has been used for comparison. The concentration of adsorbed analytes is very low within the beads. SERS was therefore used to enhance the Raman signal. SERS-active surfaces were prepared by incorporating gold nano-particles into the interior of the bead. TEM measurements showed that the gold nano-particles could be observed throughout, and it was possible to record analyte spectra from different positions within the bead. Enhanced spectra could be obtained both for small test molecules and for larger bio-molecules, although the spectra for the smaller analytes were much more intense.