Raw materials; Particles; Raman; Infrared; Spectroscopy; Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS);
Raw materials need to be of a certain quality with respect to physical and chemical composition. They also need to have no contaminants in the form of particles because these could get into the product or indicate the raw materials are not pure enough to make a good quality product. When particles are found, it is important to identify their chemical and elemental composition to correct any process errors that can cause them and to have acceptable quality of the final product. Sources of materials can be the environment, process equipment and processing, and packaging. Microscope versions of Raman spectroscopy, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), and IR spectroscopy are excellent tools for identifying particles in materials because they are fast and accurate techniques needing minimal sample preparation that can provide chemical composition as well as images that can be used for identification. The micro analysis capabilities allow for easy analysis of different portions of samples so that multiple components can be identified and sample preparation can be reduced or eliminated. The complementarity of the techniques provides the advantage of identifying various chemical components, as well as elemental and image analyses. The sources of materials were seen to be the environment, process equipment and processing, and packaging.