Fourier Transform Raman and Statistical Analysis of Thermally Altered Samples of Amber

Appl Spectrosc. 2015 Dec;69(12):1457-63. doi: 10.1366/15-07866.


We report the experimental results that refer to a Fourier transform Raman (FT-Raman) survey of thermally altered Baltic and Romanian amber and the related statistical interpretation of data using principal component analysis (PCA). Although FT-Raman spectra show several small changes in the characteristic features of the investigated amber samples which may be used for discrimination, their visual recognition is relatively difficult, especially when interpreting data from archeological samples, and thus multivariate data analysis may be the solution to more accurately assign the geological origin based on overall characteristic spectral features. The two categories of amber have different behavior in terms of degradation during the experimental alteration, and Romanian amber is more susceptible to physico-chemical transformations by the aggressive environment when compared with Baltic amber. The obtained data were in accordance with the Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) remarks published previously in a dedicated journal. The Raman technique is an alternative method that requires little to no sample preparation, water does not cause interference, and the spectra can be collected from a small volume (1-50 μm in diameter).

MeSH terms

  • Amber / chemistry*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / methods*


  • Amber