Development of a Raman spectroscopy system for in situ monitoring of microwave-assisted inorganic transformations

John Jamboretz, Andreas Reitz, Christina S. Birkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microwave heating methods offer unique advantages in preparations of inorganic solids due to the high heating rates, potentially selective heating, and time/energy reductions. Understanding of these enhancements as well as involved mechanisms is poor due to the lack of available and easily applicable in situ monitoring methods, particularly for samples in the solid state. Existing in situ studies typically rely on access to beamline facilities as well as custom-built microwave systems, which is in the best case inconvenient and in the worst case not achievable. In situ Raman spectroscopy is an ideal technique as it provides rapid and unambiguous phase identification by a noncontact method. Further, the instrument components are simple and compact, facilitating use in the typical synthetic laboratory. Only a few reports on using Raman spectroscopy for in situ measurements during microwave heating exist, and they all utilize specialized custom reactor setups. In this work, a new Raman measurement system designed to observe inorganic transformations in situ that is readily deployable in a standard, commercially available laboratory scale microwave reactor is described. As a simple demonstration, the anatase-to-rutile phase transition in TiO2 is monitored under both microwave and conventional furnace heating. The excellent time resolution achieved demonstrates the utility of the system in understanding microwave-assisted methods for the preparation of inorganic compounds. The simplicity will encourage integration by the non-specialist to understand microwave heating for synthetic preparations and promote wider application of the technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-304
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Raman Spectroscopy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Titania
  • inorganic compounds
  • microwave heating
  • nonconventional synthesis
  • phase transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Spectroscopy


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