Microspectroscopy gives access to spatially resolved information on the molecular structure and chemical composition of a material. For a highly heterogeneous and anisotropic material like wood, such information is essential when assessing structure/property relationships such as moisture-induced dimensional changes, decay resistance or mechanical properties. It is, however, important to choose the right technique for the purpose at hand and to apply it in a suitable way if any new insights are to be gained. This review presents and compares three different microspectroscopic techniques: infrared, Raman and ultraviolet. Issues such as sample preparation, spatial resolution, data acquisition and extraction of knowledge from the spectral data are discussed. Additionally, an overview of applications in wood science is given for each method. Lastly, current trends and challenges within microspectroscopy of wood are discussed.
Wood Science and Technology, 2013, Vol 47, Issue 1, p. 203-222