Raman and infrared spectroscopy of carbohydrates: A review

Ewelina Wiercigroch, Ewelina Szafraniec, Krzysztof Czamara, Marta Z. Pacia, Katarzyna Majzner, Kamila Kochan, Agnieszka A Kaczor, Malgorzata Baranska, Kamilla Malek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

379 Citations (Scopus)


Carbohydrates are widespread and naturally occurring compounds, and essential constituents for living organisms. They are quite often reported when biological systems are studied and their role is discussed. However surprisingly, up till now there is no database collecting vibrational spectra of carbohydrates and their assignment, as has been done already for other biomolecules. So, this paper serves as a comprehensive review, where for selected 14 carbohydrates in the solid state both FT-Raman and ATR FT-IR spectra were collected and assigned. Carbohydrates can be divided into four chemical groups and in the same way is organized this review. First, the smallest molecules are discussed, i.e. monosaccharides (D-(−)-ribose, 2-deoxy-D-ribose, L-(−)-arabinose, D-(+)-xylose, D-(+)-glucose, D-(+)-galactose and D-(−)-fructose) and disaccharides (D-(+)-sucrose, D-(+)-maltose and D-(+)-lactose), and then more complex ones, i.e. trisaccharides (D-(+)-raffinose) and polysaccharides (amylopectin, amylose, glycogen). Both Raman and IR spectra were collected in the whole spectral range and discussed looking at the specific regions, i.e. region V (3600–3050 cm− 1), IV (3050–2800 cm− 1) and II (1200–800 cm− 1) assigned to the stretching vibrations of the OH, CH/CH2 and C-O/C-C groups, respectively, and region III (1500–1200 cm− 1) and I (800–100 cm− 1) dominated by deformational modes of the CH/CH2 and CCO groups, respectively. In spite of the fact that vibrational spectra of saccharides are significantly less specific than spectra of other biomolecules (e.g. lipids or proteins), marker bands of the studied molecules can be identified and correlated with their structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-335
Number of pages19
JournalSpectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbohydrates
  • FT-Raman
  • Saccharides
  • Sugars
  • Vibrational analysis

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