Spectroscopic experiments allow researchers to reveal elemental composition, chemical state and physical properties of both inorganic material and biological systems. By sweeping through a range of photon energies the absorption, reflectivity or fluorescence of the sample is measured. In the X-ray region all atoms absorb X-rays sharply at certain wavelengths (called absorption edges) that are characteristic of that atomic species, so element-specific information can be obtained. In the InfraRed wavelength range, characteristic vibrational modes of condensed matter or biomedical samples are excited to disclose the molecular structure - eventually probed by a microscope for a 2-D image. In the visible and near, far, and vacuum UV regions, electonic transitions of chromophores of conjugated and d-electrons systems such as organic, inorganic and biological molecules (proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids) are investigated mainly for circular and linear dichroism experiments.
The main spectroscopic techniques employed at Diamond are:
- X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS), including microfocus spectroscopy
- Infrared Microspectroscopy
- X-Ray Magnetic Circular Dichroism (XMCD)
- UV and Visible Circular Dichroism Spectroscopy