Raman, infrared and XPS study of bamboo phytoliths after chemical digestion

Kym M. Watling, Jeff F. Parr, Llew Rintoul, Christopher L. Brown, Leigh A. Sullivan

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Raman, infrared and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies have been used to examine the effect of various chemical digestion methods on the composition of bamboo phytoliths. Intact bilobate phytoliths, suitable for interrogation by Raman microprobe analysis, were isolated by a microwave wet ashing technique using hydrogen peroxide with nitric and hydrochloric acids. The occluded phytolith carbon presented evidence of cellulose, lignin and carboxylic acids. Nitrate from the nitric acid used in the digestion was observed in homogenized samples of the isolated phytoliths; in addition to nitrogen of plant origin occluded within the phytolith, which was observed as amine nitrogen and ammonia. Intact bilobate phytoliths were not observed following an exothermic hydrogen peroxide/sulfuric acid digest, suggesting that these structures ruptured during this digestion procedure. The silicate network was significantly altered during isolation using the exothermic hydrogen peroxide/sulfuric digest, with surface hydroxyls undergoing condensation to form a SiO 3 ring structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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