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Raman Spectroscopy Instruments Maintenance Management, Support, and Repair

Category Chemical/Explosives
Type Analytical
Ease of Use 4 out of 5
Determination Capability 4 out of 5

How it works

Raman spectroscopy has recently been adapted to field use. A laser is used to send a single wavelength of light at the particle. When the photons of this single wavelength of light hit the vibrating bonds of a molecule, a number of things can happen including absorption, reflection and scattering. For Raman, some of the scattered light is emitted at a different wavelength from the original laser wavelength. The amount of shift in wavelength energy is indicative of the bond type. For example a C-O bond shifts a different amount than a C-H bond. The shifted wavelengths are captured and displayed as a Raman spectrum. This spectrum is matched against a database (library) and the chemical is identified.

Raman and FTIR are considered complimentary techniques because they take advantage of the bonds between atoms even though the mechanics are very different. Fewer chemicals can be analyzed by Raman than FTIR, so Raman is often considered a secondary technique to FTIR. Raman has an advantage over FTIR in that the instrument can work over short distances by changing the focal length, so it is possible to analyze samples inside containers like bottles and baggies without opening the container.


The challenges for Raman include understanding the chemical types the instrument analyzes best, properly optimizing the distance from the sample, and understanding fluorescence interference. Also, since a laser (therefore heat) is involved, dark substances like gunpowder may ignite.

KD Analytical supports Raman Instruments

KD Analytical offers a suite of services for Raman instruments (as well many other analytical instruments) that can save you money and time and help you to guarantee the readiness of your equipment and team.

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