A Trick of the Light Applications for TouchRaman Spectroscopy

Raman spectroscopy is a technology that has shown a lot of potential in a great deal of new fields and shed promising light on all kinds of scientific endeavors. How It WorksHigh-sensitivity Raman measurement tools gather information about objects at the micron scale. Typically, a coherent light is shined upon the subject material. The laser beam will scatter in a unique pattern depending on the substance it lands on. Observing the scatter enables technicians to identify the substance or substances being looked at, their level of concentration, and other properties. The technique -- which is actually a series of different measurement approaches -- is named after the Raman effect, wherein electromagnetic waves collide with a molecule and affect its bonds. In this case, a predictable wave of light is employed, making it easier to interpret the end result. ApplicationsTouchRaman spectroscopy is most commonly used in chemistry because it collects its information from interacting with chemical bonds. However, its uses are wide-ranging. In the pharmaceutical industry, specialized devices like TouchRaman probes are utilized to measure active components in drugs, and what form those ingredients take at the molecular scale. TouchRaman tools like these can also be valuable in physics experiments to determine the crystalline state of materials, as well as measure their temperature. Some TouchRaman probes are even capable of compiling data regarding corrosive materials that would normally destroy the measuring tool. Spatially Offset Raman SpectroscopyAnother kind of Raman spectroscopy, called "spatially offset Raman spectroscopy," is capable of "seeing" past surface layers and can be applied to, for example, identify counterfeit drugs without disturbing their containers. They can also be used to track changes in biological tissue, like an ultrasound. Experiments are in progress to see if different TouchRaman and similar tools can be used to identify the presence of explosive materials from a distance, and even to test whether individual living cells are cancerous, which could make surgery substantially safer and more precise, boosting favorable prognoses considerably. MicrospectroscopyRaman spectroscopy can be used to examine polymers, proteins, and forensics evidence on a microscopic level. Lab techs can even use it to determine the level of cholesterol or other substances in foodstuffs. CustomizationWhile manufacturers such as optical sensor sometimes sell premade TouchRaman and similar tools to government, academic and pharmaceutical organizations, those manufacturers are also able to specialize and build machinery ideally suited to the measurement and observation requirements of the purchaser.

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