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Raman microspectroscopy

Raman spectroscopy can also be used for microscopic analysis and imaging. There are two main methods: direct imaging and hyperspectral imaging (chemical imaging).

Direct imaging involves examining the whole sample for characteristic shifts e.g. of a single compound. This generates an image showing the distribution of that compound.

In hyperspectral imaging Raman spectra are taken at points across the sample, so that multiple compounds and their distributions can be identified. The disadvantage is that with a spectrum taken for every pixel, this requires a lot of computing power and storage space.

The instrument in the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, is a typical microspectrometer, manufactured by Renishaw.

An interactive diagram of this is shown below, to give a feel for the components and operation. Hover over components to see a description of them, and click 'Play' to see the path that light takes through the spectrometer.

Note: This animation requires Adobe Flash Player 8 and later, which can be downloaded here.

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