Tuesday, March 26, 2013

1064 nm Raman: Pervasive at Pittcon 2013

An undated page on the site of Real-Time Analyzers, Inc. (Middletown, CT) states that the company's RamanID system is "the only portable Raman analyzer that employs 1064 nm laser excitation to avoid fluorescence interference." But in fact, the 1064 wavelength is being offered in more and more Raman instruments--both portable and non-portable--as was evident at the Pittcon 2013 (March 17-21, Pittsburgh, PA) exposition.
On the portable side, B&W Tek (Newark, DE) demonstrated the practical value of this wavelength: Its new 1064 nm fiber optic Raman spectrometer produces a clear spectrum for grapeseed oil, whereas 785 Raman generated no signal at all.

Rigaku Raman Technologies (San Jose, CA) showed off a range of portable Raman analyzers offering 1064 (in addition to 532 and 785), including its super compact handheld system, FirstGuard, so easy to use that it lets dock workers quickly screen shipments of pharmaceuticals.

BaySpec (San Jose, CA) has streamlined its transportable Agility single/dual-band Raman spectrometer, with a 1064-excitation option, to accept a snap-in vial or pill holder. On the non-portable side, BaySpec offers its Nomadic Raman microscopes--now with 1064 excitation--without requiring switchout of laser and detector.

Speaking of Raman microscopes, Renishaw (Hoffman Estates, IL) was on hand to talk about its highly flexible inVia. It accommodates up to three multi-line lasers on a standard baseplate and more on a laser table, and it fully supports more than 20 laser wavelengths, from 229 nm all the way up to--you guessed it--1064 nm.
B&W Tek's Robert Chimenti explained the appeal of Raman: High selectivity with no sample prep. By comparison, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, which also offers great selectivity, does require sample prep. With the addition of 1064, that appeal increases.