Solution for Raman spectroscopy offers high optical throughput and high spectral resolution

04-02-2019 | IMEC | Semiconductors

Imec announces an on-chip solution for Raman spectroscopy - based on a newly patented concept - offering high optical throughput and high spectral resolution. The solution may pave the way for cost-effective high-end handheld Raman spectroscopy device initiating many new applications. The company invites technology partners and IDMs to develop the technology further into a commercial application.

Raman spectroscopy is a powerful technique, mostly used to determine chemical and material composition. Typical areas of application include the food, medical, even space industries. Because of the essential nature of the technique, current devices are rather bulky (tabletop) and have a high price range. Handheld solutions are available, but currently fail to meet the desired performance for high-end applications, mainly because of the limited scaling capacity of conventional dispersive Raman spectrometry whereby scattered light is focused on a slit. Scaling while maintaining high spectral resolution (<1nm) means diminishing the size of the slit which instantly limits the optical throughput.

Pol Van Dorpe, principal member of the technical staff at Imec: “We are very pleased to have achieved this milestone which can mean a breakthrough for the general applicability of Raman spectroscopy. One could even think about smartphone integration. With the right partners we see many application opportunities in areas like food analysis, melanoma detection, or skin hydration. In the medical domain, we see opportunities for in-line measurements during surgery or endoscopy. And for space exploration, the ability to perform material analysis with a compact system is of tremendous value.”

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