# Raman activity in sulfur

I was wondering why sulfur is Raman active but other elements (e.g. carbon) are not.

• Raman activity is a property of compounds, not elements. – Ivan Neretin Aug 4 '17 at 6:21
• Be aware that C is a very bad counterexample. For single atom there cannot be vibrational spectroscopy. But in principle a pure element that exists in a specific bound forn can have Raman active modes of vibration. C is famous for its allotrooes, diamond graphite fullerenes-nanotubes.... – Alchimista Aug 4 '17 at 11:44

In a review (PDF, CalTech) of the properties of elemental sulfur, the author notes that the most stable form of sulfur at STP is in fact cycloocta-sulfur, $\ce{S8}$, with other polyatomic species also found. Elemental sulfur is commonly formed as a molecular solid, with arrangements of $\ce{S_n}$ rings or chains, and the S-S bonds can be Raman active.