RAMAN for amber

RAMAN is the name of a technology whereby a laser is fired at a target object spot for analysis, the laser causes different molecules to radiate different amounts of energy and so this simple principle enables scientists to gain deep insights into the actual molecular nature of a substance. This technique is very fast and only very slightly destructive as a tiny amount of amber can be vaporized. For most collectors RAMAN is not necessary as there are numerous other more practical ways to investigate the amber.

It is named after the Nobel prize-winning Indian physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman who, in collaboration with his research partner Sir Kariamanikkam Srinivasa Krishnan, was the first to observe Raman scattering in 1928.1 Raman spectroscopy can provide both chemical and structural information, as well as the identification of substances through their characteristic Raman ‘fingerprint’.

RAMAN is excellent when dealing with a piece of amber that is proving difficult to verify using other techniques and can be used to rapidly verify the exact origin of the amber, the only downside of this method is that a database of known amber RAMAN readings is needed for comparison. AAKZ is planning on releasing an AMBER RAMAN DATABASE to help scientists identify not only origins but treatments too. By taking known amber reference samples and then treating them with heat, oils or resins and then taking new readings enables the database to identify not only origins but most of the dubious attempts to either fake ambers, create doublets or triplets, attempt to enhance natural ambers using heat or chemicals. In many instances RAMAN helps totally expose any potential deviance.

In instances where an unusual new type of amber in found in new seams from a known mine then RAMAN can be used often in conjunction with FTIR to further understand the chemistry behind what is seen, in some instances RAMAN reveals heat applied to the amber that is often more simply verified with fluorescence. The combined use of these techniques has helped us understand that some amber seams have at one point undergone the effects of geothermal events.

Extreme amber scientists are also recommended to try the new range of RAMAN confocal microscopes made by Edinburgh Instruments (https://www.edinst.com/)

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We will be posting more links to other CT scans here soon, we appreciate you visiting our site too, if you are looking for a better more comprehensive listing of fossils in Kachin amber then you may consider checking out the new wiki page under development https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleobiota_of_Burmese_amber

Researching ambers does not have to be expensive and throughout this website there are numerous tips and pieces of advice that are useful to collectors and scientists alike. Many simple cheap solutions can be implemented without sacrificing quality, if there is a research aspect that we have not answered then please feel free to let us know and we shall endeavor to help whenever possible, if you have any interesting solutions that you would like to share with is then of course we are always glad to hear from you too.