Raman Microspectroscopic Mapping with Multivariate Curve Resolution–Alternating Least Squares (MCR-ALS) Applied to the High-Pressure Polymorph of Titanium Dioxide, TiO 2 -II


The high-pressure, -PbO2-structured polymorph of titanium dioxide (TiO2-II) was recently identified in micrometer-sized grains recovered from four Neoarchean spherule layers deposited between approximate to 2.65 and approximate to 2.54 billion years ago. Several lines of evidence support the interpretation that these layers represent distal impact ejecta layers. The presence of shock-induced TiO2-II provides physical evidence to further support an impact origin for these spherule layers. Detailed characterization of the distribution of TiO2-II in these grains may be useful for correlating the layers, estimating the paleodistances of the layers from their source craters, and providing insight into the formation of the TiO2-II. Here we report the investigation of TiO2-II-bearing grains from these four spherule layers using multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares (MCR-ALS) applied to Raman microspectroscopic mapping. Raman spectra provide evidence of grains consisting primarily of rutile (TiO2) and TiO2-II, as shown by Raman bands at 174cm(-1) (TiO2-II), 426cm(-1) (TiO2-II), 443cm(-1) (rutile), and 610cm(-1) (rutile). Principal component analysis (PCA) yielded a predominantly three-phase system comprised of rutile, TiO2-II, and substrate-adhesive epoxy. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) suggests heterogeneous grains containing polydispersed micrometer- and submicrometer-sized particles. Multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares applied to the Raman microspectroscopic mapping yielded up to five distinct chemical components: three phases of TiO2 (rutile, TiO2-II, and anatase), quartz (SiO2), and substrate-adhesive epoxy. Spectral profiles and spatially resolved chemical maps of the pure chemical components were generated using MCR-ALS applied to the Raman microspectroscopic maps. The spatial resolution of the Raman microspectroscopic maps was enhanced in comparable, cost-effective analysis times by limiting spectral resolution and optimizing spectral acquisition parameters. Using the resolved spectra of TiO2-II generated from MCR-ALS analysis, a Raman spectrum for pure TiO2-II was estimated to further facilitate its identification.


SAGE Publications

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Applied Spectroscopy



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Raman, Spectroscopy, Chemical imaging, Multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares, MCR-ALS, Raman microspectroscopic mapping, Titanium dioxide, TiO2, TiO2-II, High-pressure polymorph, Chemometric