Breanna – Summer Week 1

During our first short week here I was able to dip my toes into the Raman world.  I learned how to calibrate the instrument as well as to take spectra, and just today took a very lovely one of MgS that Caren had painted on some paper during the school year.  Well, lovely as in somewhat recognizable despite all of the fluorescence.  It was clear enough that I could easily identify peaks at 342.81 and 252.79 inverse cm, though, and these match up nicely with literature values of 252 and 343.  Booyah.

I also had the chance to just play around with different parameters a little bit, which really gave me a good feel for what happens to the intensity count when you reduce laser power and increase acquisition time (among other things).  Finally, I read through material on the confocal and attempted to become acquainted with the process.  I was ultimately overwhelmed and unsuccessful, so that’s what I’ll be picking up with on Monday.  I did learn what several of the fancy switches and stuff do, though, so I’ll count that as a win.

While fumbling around with settings I also managed to do something that made the Raman unwilling to calibrate, so that’s fun.  Hopefully I will resolve whatever’s going on there next week as well.

So, in summary.

Goals achieved:  learned how to calibrate the Raman, learned how to take spectra and match these with known values.

Goals that didn’t happen:  figuring out something (anything) about the confocal.

Problems: the Raman has chosen to act up and will hopefully re-think this decision.

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