The applications of Raman spectroscopy are rapidly increasing, due largely to the availability of compact, portable instruments, more sophisticated data analysis, and greater understanding of this powerful technique within the scientific community. Raman has revolutionized quality control in pharma, improved security for first responders, and is poised to have a similar impact on healthcare, food, and many other areas. Raman’s ability to provide a rapid chemical fingerprint without contacting or consuming the sample makes it ideal for use in point-of-care and mobile settings, and its capacity for extracting meaningful results from complex samples is generating excitement in many non-traditional fields. All of the Raman spectroscopy applications listed here have been performed with Wasatch Photonics Raman spectrometers & systems. Intrigued? Explore our enabling Raman products, or learn how they deliver a step change in performance for portable Raman in our tech note on extending Raman’s reach. Not sure where to get started, or what Raman spectroscopy can do for you? Let’s talk
Applications of Raman Spectroscopy
Biomedical Diagnostics & Biological Research
Medical applications of Raman often strike close to home, and we have the privilege of supporting many at both the research and OEM level. We work with those developing diagnostics for gout, dental caries, and blood glucose, plus researchers using SERS for bacterial detection. We see Raman in cell research, noninvasive testing of blood quality, and tissue measurements. One of the most exciting areas benefiting from our higher sensitivity is cancer and infectious disease detection.
Bioprocess Monitoring & Quality
Bioprocesses are used in energy, medical, and environmental applications to generate and/or refine valuable byproducts and biomaterials. Their resulting quality and cost stems from control over the chemistry and efficiency of those processes. We support manufacturers of Raman spectroscopy-based systems for direct, in-line observation of closed production systems, bioreactors, and finished products, helping them acquire valuable information about reactant consumption, product quality, and endpoint detection.
Food Quality, Safety & Authenticity
Quality, safety, and authenticity of our food supply is a real and present issue, and Raman’s specificity, sensitivity, and insensitivity to water is an ideal technique to tackle it. We’re helping measure moisture & fat content for quality and detect acrylimide in fried foods, fipronil in eggs, & melamine in milk for safety. We work with scientists finding new ways to authenticate protected domain spirits, spices, organic oils, and maple syrup, as well as finding new solutions to improve the food chain.
Oil, Gas & Renewable Energy
Our dependence on energy makes it a resource to guard at every stage of production & use. Raman’s ability to analyze hydrocarbons and gases can optimize extraction during mud logging & downhole monitoring, and sound the alarm on dangerous gases. It can be used to detect counterfeit and subpar fuels blended with vegetable oil or subsidized fuels via direct detection and sensitive SERS-based markers. It can even analyze the thermochemistry of very hot exhausts.
Security, Authentication & Threat Detection
While Raman has long been used for threat detection, we’re enabling new applications and use cases like biological & chemical agents and trace sensing with our sensitivity and speed. First responders, military, and checkpoints rely on Raman for detection of narcotics, explosives & precursors, and we can make that easier. But security has a wider meaning. It includes ID of taggants in valuables, forensic analysis, and even routine uses like detecting ice on roads or water quality testing.
Materials Research & Identification
The field of materials analysis impacts in every aspect of our lives, from the electronics we depend on to our ubiquitous use of plastics. Raman is a popular method for the analysis of next-generation materials like graphene, carbon nanotubes, nanoparticles, and polymer films. We’ve used it to validate gemstones, and it can provide valuable information in art analysis. Its speed and specificity is key in plastic identification for recycling, and may be the answer to testing water for microplastics.
Pharmaceutical Quality Control & Incoming Inspection
Raman is an extremely well-established technique in pharmaceutical analysis due to its ability to quickly test raw material ID and purity, provide online quality control of tablet composition & uniformity, and analyze APIs. We see new applications in the field, where our users are testing authenticity of antimalarial drugs or looking for ways to validate drug dosing and ID at point-of-care with a compact, sensitive device. It can even be used to characterize drug delivery in tissues.
Contact us to discuss your Raman spectroscopy application
Whether you are new to Raman, have a good idea of what you need, or are looking to make the transition from benchtop to portable, we have the products, resources, and expertise you need. Let’s get that conversation started: