We describe the application of Terahertz pulse spectroscopy to polymorph identification. The particular compounds investigated were the different crystalline Forms 1 and 2 of ranitidine hydrochloride, both in the pure form and also obtained as a marketed pharmaceutical product. Identification was clear. The technique has advantages that excitation is not via a powerful laser source, as used in Raman spectroscopy, so phase changes or photochemical reactions in polymorphs do not occur. Terahertz absorption spectral interpretation and instrumentation are similar to basic Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and therefore easy to understand. The sample preparation techniques used are the same as those used in FTIR and Raman spectroscopies. The data obtained is complementary to Raman Spectroscopy. As the selection rules are different between the two techniques, we are able to obtain new data set directly related to crystalline structure adding to that obtained by Raman spectroscopy. Terahertz pulse spectroscopy provides information on low-frequency intermolecular vibrational modes; these are difficult to assess in Raman spectroscopy due to the proximity of the laser exciting line. It is concluded that the method has a wide range of applications in pharmaceutical science including formulation, high throughput screening, and inspection in storage.
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