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Depolarization ratio

for other uses see Depolarization (disambiguation)

In Raman spectroscopy, the depolarization ratio is the intensity ratio between the perpendicular component and the parallel component of the Raman scattered light.

The Raman scattered light is emitted by the stimulation of the electric field of the incident light. Therefore, the direction of the vibration of the electric field, or polarization direction, of the scattered light might be expected to be the same as that of the incident light. In reality, however, some fraction of the Raman scattered light has a polarization direction that is perpendicular to that of the incident light. This component is called the perpendicular component. Naturally, the component of the Raman scattered light whose polarization direction is parallel to that of the incident light is called the parallel component, and the Raman scattered light consists of the parallel component and the perpendicular component. The ratio between these two components is expressed as the depolarization ratio.

The value of the depolarization ratio of a Raman band depends on the symmetry of the molecule and the normal vibrational mode, in other words, the point group of the molecule and its irreducible representation to which the normal mode belongs. Under Placzek’s polarizability approximation, it is known that the depolarization ratio of a totally symmetric vibrational mode is less than 0.75, and that of the other modes equals 0.75. A Raman band whose depolarization ratio is less than 0.75 is called a polarized band, and a band with a 0.75 depolarization ratio is called a depolarized band.


    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Depolarization_ratio". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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