What is “ultra-fast Raman spectral imaging”?

Ultra-fast Raman spectral imaging is a technique for allowing Raman spectral images to be acquired with acquisition times down to less than 5ms/point, resulting in total measurement times of seconds or minutes, even for images comprising tens or hundreds of thousands of spectra.

Traditional Raman spectral imaging has always been limited by long acquisition times, but such methods do offer the ultimate sensitivity for materials with extremely low Raman scattering properties, and additionally allows high resolution, large spectral range measurements .  Typical acquisition times for such maps can be in the order of 1s-10s per point (or longer), resulting in total measurement times in the order of hours or days.

Methods for ultra-fast Raman spectral imaging vary, but typically they coordinate sample stage movement and detector readout to minimise ‘dead time’ which occurs in standard point-by-point imaging experiments.  They allow Raman spectral images to be acquired with acquisition times of 5ms/point or less, so that large area survey scans and detailed Raman spectral images can be completed in seconds or minutes!

Ultra-fast Raman spectral imaging is not suitable for every type of sample, and its efficacy will depend on the sample’s inherent Raman intensity, and the required spectral quality necessary to create the image.

SWIFT™ Raman (left) and optical (right) images of etched silicon wafer - 3,315 spectra - 26s total acquisition
SWIFT™ Raman spectral image of whole pharmaceutical tablet - 48,081 spectra - 8m:55s total acquisition
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