We have studied the Raman spectrum of beta-carotene using excitation wavelengths from visible (514.5 nm) to near-infrared (1064 nm). Qualitatively, the spectrum appears independent of the choice of excitation wavelength, although this is not true in detail; in particular, the ratio of the intensities of the upsilon C-C and upsilon C = C fundamentals to their overtones and combinations varies with the excitation wavelength. The inelastic neutron scattering spectrum shows no evidence for unusual dynamics in this system, and the UV/vis/NIR spectrum shows that there are no allowed electronic transitions from the ground state beyond ~ 700 nm. These observations provide strong evidence for the existence of a different mechanism for the enhancement of the bands. Indirect evidence suggests that, with these longer excitation wavelengths, the intensities of the upsilon C-C and upsilon C = C peaks are at least two orders of magnitude smaller than those from resonance enhancement with the use of excitation into the visible absorption bands. The implications for the characterization of polyenes in polymers are discussed.
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