Learn about Raman microspectroscopy here

Textile Fiber in a Microspectrophotometer

The Raman microspectrometer is a scientific instrument used to measure the Raman spectra of microscopic samples.  For example, a chemist will use it to measure the spectrum of a single microscopic crystal.  The Raman microspectrometer combines an optical microscope with a laser and a Raman spectrometer.  A standard Raman spectrometer is designed to measure samples on the order of 1 x 1 centimeters.  However, the Raman microspectrometer is able to measure samples on the order of micrometers...smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

Raman Microspectrometer

As shown in Figure 2, the instrument combines a research grade optical microscope with a Raman spectrometer.  In this case, the light from the laser is focused onto the sample on the microscope stage.  The Raman scattered light from the sample is collected by the objective and focused onto the Raman spectrometer entrance aperture.  Thus Raman spectra may be measured from microscopic sample areas.  Large scale samples can also be measured by spectral mapping where the Raman spectra from hundreds of points on the sample may be combined in a three dimensional chart to show how the Raman spectra varies across the surface of sample with very high spatial resolution.

Raman microspectrometers can also be configured to measure how a samples Raman spectra changes over time.  This is called kinetic Raman microspectroscopy and represents a new capability for this type of instrument.  And with the incorporation of Raman into full powered systems such as the 20/30 PV™ microspectrophotometer, these instruments are also capable of measuring photoluminescence (also called PL). Because Raman microspectrometers are so flexible, they are used in many fields of research and industry.

Why use a Raman Microspectrometer?

Raman microspectra of Tylenol

The Raman microspectrometer allows the scientist or engineer to acquire Raman microspectra™ of extremely small sample areas  with no physical contact. Measurements are made by illuminating the sample with laser light of a specific wavelength and then collecting the Raman spectra from the microscopic sampling area.  The spectra can then be used to identify, qualify and study, with pinpoint accuracy, microscopic samples.  Or by taking many points on a larger sample and combining them into a three dimensional map of the spectra response of the samples surface.  Therefore, a Raman microscope spectrometer is very useful for analysis of most samples for any application.

Raman microspectrometers are employed in many different fields and are found in both scientific laboratories and production facilities. In the production environment, for example, they are used to measure the strain in silicon wafers for the semiconductor industry to the quality control of pharmaceuticals. Raman microspectrometers are used by analytical laboratories to identify and quantify microscopic samples ranging from the drugs and explosives in a forensic laboratory, the development of novel materials by chemists and physicists,  advanced nanotechnology research and even the analysis of great works of art by conservators. As such, the Raman microspectrometer is a powerful instrument with many different applications.

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