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

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Watling, KM, Parr, JF, Rintoul, L, Brown, CL, Sullivan, LA 2011, 'Raman, infrared and XPS study of bamboo phytoliths after chemical digestion',in Spectrochimica Acta: Part A Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy: Raman Spectroscopy Applied to the Earth Sciences — Selected papers from GeoRaman 2010, 9th International Conference on the Application of Raman Spectroscopy to the Earth Science - Sensu Latu, Australian Museum, Sydney, 28 June-2 July vol. 80, no. 1, pp. 106-111.

Publisher version available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.saa.2011.03.002

Peer Reviewed



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 SiO3 ring structure