A Trick of the Light TouchRaman Spectroscopy and Its Future in Science

With Raman spectroscopy, scientists can measure, with a lot of precision, the concentration levels and other attributes of solids, liquids and gases alike. Its applications are showing more and more potential in an optimistic number of industries. How It WorksTouchRaman probes and other tools that use Raman spectroscopy technology gather data about substances at the molecular scale. Typically, a laser is focused upon the subject material. The laser beam will refract in a unique pattern in accordance with the substance it lands on. Measuring the scatter pattern enables technicians to identify the substance or substances being looked at, their degree of density, and other attributes. The technique -- which is actually a series of different measurement strategies -- is so called because of the Raman effect, which is where electromagnetic waves hit a molecule and affect its bonds. To start out with, a monochromatic wave of light is applied, making it possible to interpret the end result. ApplicationsTouchRaman spectroscopy is most commonly used in chemistry because it collects its data from interacting with chemical bonds. However, its applicability is wide-ranging. Pharmaceutical researchers use custom tools such as TouchRaman probes to identify active ingredients in medications, and what form those ingredients have at the molecular level. TouchRaman devices such as these can also be crucial in physics experiments to determine the molecular structure of materials, as well as measure their temperature. Some TouchRaman probes can even gather information about caustic materials that would ordinarily damage the measuring instrument. Spatially Offset Raman SpectroscopyAnother kind of Raman spectroscopy, referred to as "spatially offset Raman spectroscopy," is able to "see" past surface layers and can be applied to, for instance, notice counterfeit medications without disturbing their containers. They can also be used to monitor biological cells, like an ultrasound. Experiments are under way to see whether various TouchRaman and similar devices can be used to identify the presence of explosive materials at a distance, and even to ascertain whether individual living cells are cancerous, potentially making surgery substantially less dangerous and more precise, boosting favorable prognoses. MicrospectroscopyRaman spectroscopy can be used to look at minerals, proteins, and forensics evidence on a microscopic level. Technicians can even utilize it to determine the level of cholesterol or other substances in foods. CustomizationWhile manufacturers such as spectroscopic research sometimes sell ready-made TouchRaman and similar devices to government, academic and pharmaceutical organizations, those manufacturers are also able to customize and construct tools perfectly attuned to the measurement and observation requirements of the individual order.