Vibrational spectroscopic studies of wool

Carter, Elizabeth Anne (1997) Vibrational spectroscopic studies of wool. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

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Abstract

Fourier transfonn (FT) Raman, Raman microspectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy have been used for the structural analysis and characterisation of untreated and chemically treated wool fibres. For FT -Raman spectroscopy novel methods of sample presentation have been developed and optimised for the analysis of wool. No significant fluorescence was observed and the spectra could be obtained routinely. The stability of wool keratin to the laser source was investigated and the visual and spectroscopic signs of sample damage were established. Wool keratin was found to be extremely robust with no signs of sample degradation observed for laser powers of up to 600 m W and for exposure times of up to seven and half hours. Due to improvements in band resolution and signal-to-noise ratio, several previously unobserved spectral features have become apparent. The assignment of the Raman active vibrational modes of wool have been reviewed and updated to include these features. The infrared spectroscopic techniques of attenuated total reflectance (ATR) and photoacoustic (P A) have been used to examine shrinkproofed and mothproofed wool samples. Shrinkproofing is an oxidative chemical treatment used to selectively modifY the surface of a wool fibre. Mothproofing is a chemical treatment applied to wool for the prevention of insect attack. The ability of PAS and A TR to vary the penetration depth by varying certain instrumental parameters was used to obtain spectra of the near surface regions of these chemically treated samples. These spectra were compared with those taken with a greater penetration depth, which therefore represent more of the bulk wool sample. The PA and ATR spectra demonstrated that oxidation was restricted to the near-surface layer of wool. Extensive curve fitting of ATR spectra of untreated wool indicated that cuticle was composed of a mixed protein conformation, but was predominately that of an a.-helix. The cortex was proposed to be a mixture of both a.helical and ~-pleated sheet protein conformations. These findings were supported by PAS depth profiling results. Raman microspectroscopy was used in an extensive investigation of the molecular structure of the wool fibre. This included determining the orientation of certain functional groups within the wool fibre and the symmetry of particular vibrations. The orientation ofbonds within the wool fibre was investigated by orientating the wool fibre axis parallel and then perpendicular to the plane of polarisation of the electric vector of the incident radiation. It was experimentally determined that the majority of C=O and N-H bonds of the peptide bond of wool lie parallel to the fibre axis. Additionally, a number of the important vibrations associated with the a-helix were also found to lie parallel to the fibre axis. Further investigation into the molecular structure of wool involved determining what effect stretching the wool fibre had on bond orientation. Raman spectra of stretched and unstretched wool fibres indicated that extension altered the orientation ofthe aromatic rings, the CH2 and CH3 groups of the amino acids. Curve fitting results revealed that extension resulted in significant destruction of the a-helix structure a substantial increase in the P-pleated sheet structure. Finally, depolarisation ratios were calculated for Raman spectra. The vibrations associated with the aromatic rings of amino acids had very low ratios which indicated that the vibrations were highly symmetrical.

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ID Code: 36936
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Presented to the School of Physical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology.
Keywords: Wool Testing, Wool Analysis, Fourier transform spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform spectroscopy, Raman, infrared, ATR, attenuated total reflectance, PAS, photoacoustic, wool, keratin, polarised light, sample degradation, orientation, thesis, doctoral
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Elizabeth Anne Carter 1997
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2010 13:06
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2016 05:59

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