What information can Raman spectral images provide?

A Raman spectral image contains a full Raman spectrum at each and every pixel of the image - these hundreds, thousands or even millions of spectra are used to generate false colour images based on material composition and structure:

  • Raman peak intensity yields images of material concentration and distribution
  • Raman peak position yields images of molecular structure and phase, and material stress/strain
  • Raman peak width yields images of crystallinity and phase

Raman spectral images provide chemical and structural information about a sample which cannot be observed using tradition light microscopy.  In particular they can be used to elucidate:

  • Distribution of components, and grain/particle size
  • Changes of crystallinity and phase across a sample
  • Size and shape of contaminant particles
  • Interaction/mixing of components at phase boundaries
  • Distribution of stress/strain across a sample
Raman spectral image of sulfur after rapid laser ablation, showing the distribution of three distinct elemental sulfur phases (red, green, yellow) on a glass microscope slide (blue).
Raman spectral image of sulfur after rapid laser ablation, showing the distribution of three distinct elemental sulfur phases (red, green, yellow) on a glass microscope slide (blue).
Raman spectral image of a 0.6 x 2.4 mm area of a pharmaceutical tablet, showing the distribution of aspirin (red), paracetamol (green), caffeine (blue) and cellulose (yellow)
Raman spectral image of a 0.6 x 2.4 mm2 area of a pharmaceutical tablet, showing the distribution of aspirin (red), paracetamol (green), caffeine (blue) and cellulose (yellow)
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