Can Raman be used for microscopic analysis?

Yes.  Raman spectroscopy can be used for microscopic analysis, with a spatial resolution in the order of 0.5-1 µm.  Such analysis is possible using a Raman microscope.

A Raman microscope couples a Raman spectrometer to a standard optical microscope, allowing high magnification visualisation of a sample and Raman analysis with a microscopic laser spot.  Raman micro-analysis is easy: simply place the sample under the microscope, focus, and make a measurement.

A true confocal Raman microscope can be used for the analysis of micron size particles or volumes. It can even be used for the analysis of different layers in a multilayered sample (e.g., polymer coatings), and of contaminants and features beneath the surface of a transparent sample (e.g., impurities within glass, and fluid/gas inclusions in minerals).

Motorised mapping stages allow Raman spectral images to be generated, which contain many thousands of Raman spectra acquired from different positions on the sample.  False colour images can be created based on the Raman spectrum – these show the distribution of individual chemical components, and variation in other effects such as phase, polymorphism, stress/strain, and crystallinity.

A modern Raman microscope system, showing the optical microscope at the bottom, and the Raman spectrometer on top
A modern Raman microscope system, showing the optical microscope at the bottom, and the Raman spectrometer on top
Back to FAQs