Raman spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction/X-ray crystallography and differential scanning calorimetry have been used to study the phenomenon of co-crystal formation in stoichiometric mixtures of salicylic acid with benzamide. Raman spectroscopy was particularly useful for the characterization of the products and was used to determine the nature of the interactions in the co-crystals. It was observed that little change in the vibrational modes associated with the phenyl groups of the respective reactants took place upon co-crystal formation, but changes in intensities of the vibrational modes associated with the amide and the carboxylic acid groups were observed upon co-crystal formation. Several new vibrational bands were identified in the co-crystal which were not manifested in the physical mixture of both components and could be used as diagnostic features of co-crystal formation. Â© 2009 Springer-Verlag.