Optical Microcharacterisation Facility

Optical Microcharacterisation Facility

The department maintains a Renishow Raman microscope which is available to research groups in the university and also by arrangement to outside organisations. For further information contact Associate Professor Ewa M. Goldys.

Raman microscopy and imaging are used to reveal vital information about physical and chemical structure and state of the examined material. The relevance and strength of this generic technique is widely recognised. Selected examples of its utility include: identification of contaminants in various materials, chemical analysis of living cells. In parallel to applications in biochemistry, it can also be used as a diagnostic in biological, medical and forensic sciences.

Recent advances in Raman spectrometry and the development of low-cost, high-throughput, user-friendly Raman microscopy systems have led to a renaissance of this technique across many fields. The modern systems offer non-destructive analysis of minute quantities of substances in a fraction of a second. This means that either more samples can be analysed or the method can be used in a survey mode to rapidly analyse the areas of interest. It provides a unique characterisation of samples allowing identification against standard databases. Its 1 mm spatial resolution makes possible automatic mapping of inhomogeneous samples. The UV Raman spectroscopy represents the next step change in Raman microscopy. Its advantages include:

  • spatial resolution below 1 micrometer and the capability of in-depth profiling,
  • excellent rejection of background fluorescence,
  • signal to noise ratio improved by a factor of up to 106 (in materials with an electronic resonance in the UV range), allowing the study of a new range of phenomena.
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