Raman Optical Activity
This project utilizes the spectroscopy of optically active substances in solution. Chiral molecules show different Raman intensities when circularly polarized light is used. The resulting difference spectrum contains stereochemical information. We set up a custom-built Raman spectrometer to realize the experiment. ROA measurements require very long exposure times (several hours to days), so maximizing the signal is crucial. Likewise, the beam path must be optimized to avoid erroneous signals caused by misalignment. For data analysis and automation of our setup we use the Python programming language: several motors are controlled to analyze and modify the polarization state of the laser, the ambient temperature and laser intensity are logged, and spectra are generated from recorded images and further processed. DFT simulations help us interpret the resulting spectra and validate the experimental setup.