RAMANforce Microscope

RAMANforce Microscope

Comparison of detection sensitivity with 785 nm excitation

Comparison of detection sensitivity with 785 nm excitation

Raman analysis of a 100 nm particle

Raman analysis of a 100 nm particle

Interlaced Raman Imaging of a tablet surface

Interlaced Raman Imaging of a tablet surface

Grain boundary observation in silicon thin film by Raman imaging

Grain boundary observation in silicon thin film by Raman imaging

RAMANforce MicroscopeComparison of detection sensitivity with 785 nm excitationRaman analysis of a 100 nm particleInterlaced Raman Imaging of a tablet surfaceGrain boundary observation in silicon thin film by Raman imaging

RAMANforce

The RAMANforce is the Nanophoton fastest and highest resolution confocal Raman microscope.

With a newly designed spectrograph and the latest optical technologies, RAMANforce’s spatial resolution and sensitivity have been highly improved, making it the optimal solution for all applications.

Analytik delivers Raman microscopes to the UK and Ireland from Nanophoton.

We will be happy to work together with you on a solution with the full support of the Nanophoton team. Visit our contact page, request a quote, or call us on +44 (0)1954 232 776.

Product Description

RAMANforce

The highest resolution at every objectives

RAMANforce - the perfect resolution

RAMANforce has finally accomplished perfect resolution.

Resolution at 20x and lower objectives has been improved to be optimal using a newly designed spectrograph without aberration, while maintaining highest resolution with the 100x objective. See Microscopy – The highest special resolution tab above for further details.

Even faster ultra-fast Raman imaging

RAMANforce - Even faster ultra-fast Raman imaging

Nanophoton pioneered the world’s first ultra-fast Raman imaging with their original line illumination and laser beam scanning.

Now, all parts have been updated using the most recent optical technology, which allows 1.93 times more sensitive Raman measurements. See Microscopy – The fastest Raman imaging tab above for further details.

Read more here: What is Raman Spectroscopy?

Newly designed robust body structure decreases stage drift

RAMANforce - newly designed robust body structure

Stage drift during measurement can create a blurred Raman image, rendering a high spatial resolution objective useless.

RAMANforce has a newly designed robust structure inside its body, which always keeps the laser spot in the focal plane during imaging. See Stability tab above for further details.

Powerful software meets ever-changing needs for analysis

RAMANforce - Software

RAMANforce software has all necessary measurement and analytical functions from frequently-used preprocessing to dedicated quantitative analysis methods.

The graphical-user-interface software is designed to be easy and satisfactory to use, while everyone will be able to start basic operations without hesitation. See Software tabs above for further details.

Request a quote for the RAMANforce or call on UK: +44 (0)1954 232 776 / IE: +353 (0)144 751 70.

Applications

Datasheet

PDF Icon RAMANforce datasheet

Microscopy - The highest spatial resolution

High spatial resolution and dedicated confocal optics are the key differentiators of RAMANforce. A clearly resolved Raman image of a small-scale structure can be obtained and also the detection sensitivity of a tiny particle under 100 nm is highly enhanced compared to that of conventional instruments. The Nanophoton patented line illumination and dedicated laser beam scanning enable ultra-fast Raman imaging.

The highest spatial resolution

XY Raman image of fluorescent beads (100x)

RAMANforce is equipped with dedicated optics and a high-quality TEM00 laser for the highest spatial resolution. With a 532 nm excitation wavelength and 0.90 NA (Numerical Aperture) objective, RAMANforce guarantees 350 nm spatial resolution for all users. Raman imaging data of fluorescent beads of 200 nm in diameter is shown above. The intensity profile along the dotted line in the Raman image demonstrates a spatial resolution of up to 300 nm. The high spatial resolution also enhances the detection sensitivity of tiny objects that are smaller than the diameter of the laser spot. RAMANforce is thus able to detect a small particle under 100 nm diameter.

Application Note: High resolution Raman imaging of carbon nanotubes
Click here: http://www.nanophoton.net/applications/23.html

XY Raman image of fluorescent beads (10x)

Furthermore, RAMANforce uses a newly designed spectrograph with aberration completely compensated for, which greatly improves spatial resolution of 20x and lower magnification objectives. Clear Raman imaging is always possible at each magnification.

Depth resolution by dedicated confocal optics

RAMANforce - Depth resolution by dedicated confocal optics

Since RAMANforce is equipped with dedicated confocal optics, high spatial resolution is achieved even in the z-direction (depth into the sample). The data above show the cross-sectional Raman imaging of 200 nm diameter fluorescent beads. The intensity profile demonstrates a spatial resolution of 670 nm. Due to this confocal behaviour, the focal point’s signal from the inner part of the transparent sample can be nondestructively measured. RAMANforce works as a perfect tool for cross-sectional Raman observation of films and to obtain a Raman spectrum measurement of buried foreign matter.

Application Note: XZ imaging of multilayer film
Click here: http://www.nanophoton.net/applications/10.html

What is Confocal Microscopy?

Confocal Microscopy

Confocal Microscopy is an optical imaging technique for increasing optical resolution and contrast by placing a confocal aperture at the confocal plane to eliminate light from outside of the focal point. If the confocal aspect of the microscope is poor, excess Raman signals from above and below the focal plane would appear as background, affecting measurements such as the observation of different layers in multi-layered films or the acquiring of a sample’s weak signals at high sensitivity.

Raman analysis of a 100 nm particle

Raman analysis of 100 nm particle

The Nanophoton highest spatial resolution and high performance confocal optics enhance their sensitivity to detect tiny particles. The laser beam will be accurately focused on the center of a particle using galvanometer scanner, and a robust sample stage keeps the laser spot always precisely located during long exposure measurements. RAMANforce produces a spectrum with a high signal-to-noise ratio that allows particle identification to be done by a library search.

Microscopy - The fastest Raman imaging

High spatial resolution and dedicated confocal optics are the key differentiators of RAMANforce. A clearly resolved Raman image of a small-scale structure can be obtained and also the detection sensitivity of a tiny particle under 100 nm is highly enhanced compared to that of conventional instruments. The Nanophoton patented line illumination and dedicated laser beam scanning enable ultra-fast Raman imaging.

Ultra-fast Raman imaging by line illumination

Line illuminationThe dedicated illumination mode developed by Nanophoton has dramatically improved the speed of Raman imaging by re-forming point laser beams into line shapes to cover a larger sample area. This patented line illumination excites Raman scattered light along the line-illuminated area simultaneously whereupon it is divided into 400 spectra by a large number of pixels using a CCD.

400 spectra simultaneous detection system

400 spectra simultaneous detection system

As one of Nanophoton’s specialised technologies RAMANforce is equipped with galvanometer scanner for fast and accurate laser beam scanning. Compared with a conventional motorised stage, laser beam scanning performs several hundreds times faster scanning with up to 10 nm positioning accuracy. This also has advantages in operation; e.g. just clicking on the microscopic image will designate the specific area for measurement without any vibrations.

Point illumination & laser beam scanning

Line illumination & laser beam scanning

There has been a long-lasting controversy about whether laser scanning technology deforms the laser spot, especially at the edge of the field-of-view. However, using the most updated optics allows focusing of the laser beam perpendicular to the focal plane over the whole area.

Optical system has been redesigned to be 1.93 times more sensitive

All optical components in RAMANforce were carefully reviewed and updated using the latest optical materials and coating technologies. In addition, Nanophoton has designed a new spectrograph and adopted the top grade CCD with highest quantum efficiency, thus an updated RAMANforce uses new optics with 1.93 times more sensitivity than a previous model.

As the graph shown below, the detection sensitivity of RAMANforce is 1.93 times higher than previous model at 100 cm-1 with 532 nm excitation, and 1.86 times higher at 553 cm-1 with 785 nm excitation.

Comparison of detection sensitivity with 532 nm excitation

Spectroscopy

A 550 mm focal length spectrograph is provided as equipment in RAMANforce’s compact cabinet. It has a sophisticated design excellent in balancing spectral resolution, brightness and stability to deliver a high level of spectral performance. The 3 built-in gratings are freely switched to adjust for a variety of spectral analyses.

Spectral resolution is compatible with a high level of brightness

Raman spectrum of CCl4 obtained with 532 nm excitation“Substantial spectral resolution”, “Ensuring adequate brightness”, “Being as compact as possible”: in order to satisfy the 3 requirements, a spectrograph with 550 mm focal length has been adopted. The spectral resolution is approximately 1.2 cm-1 (FWHM) when 785 nm excitation wavelength is applied using a 1200 gr/mm grating. Even the Raman peaks of carbon tetrachloride that are used to evaluate spectral resolution can be observed respectively at both 532 nm and 785 nm excitation wavelengths (left).

Raman spectrum of CCl4 obtained with 785 nm excitationIt is possible to choose 3 gratings from multiple selections; such as 2400 gr/mm which has a higher spectral resolution, 600 gr/mm which strikes a balance between resolution and spectrum detection range, and 150 gr/mm which is useful for wide wavelength region measurements such as PL and reflectance spectroscopy. They are simply switched by a single click of the software without any adjustments.

 

Over 0.1 cm-1 ; Peak shift measurement at Highest Accuracy

Histogram of silicon peak positionRAMANforce offers a high peak position accuracy of under 0.1 cm-1 by combining a high-resolution grating and a long focal length of spectrograph at 550 mm. The peak position can be rigorously analysed by Gaussian and/or Lorentian fitting functions to obtain a high positional accuracy beyond pixel resolution. The data on the left show the standard deviation of peak position within a narrow range of 0.02 cm-1.

Application Note: Raman imaging of stress distribution of silicon
Click here: http://www.nanophoton.net/applications/24.html

Spectral resolution and spectrum pixel resolution

Spectral resolution is the ability to separate and detect 2 adjacent Raman peaks. The spectral resolution of an instrument is determined by various factors, such as the line width of excitation laser and focal length of spectrograph (which are difficult to change), and also the slit width of spectrograph and ruling number of the grating, etc. (which can be changed by users.) The picture below shows the Raman spectra of carbon tetrachloride obtained by using different gratings. The higher the ruling number of the grating, the better the spectral resolution will be.

Raman spectrum of CCl4(600gr/mm)

The spectral resolution of an instrument is assessed by the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of a Rayleigh scattered light, i.e. line width of excitation laser (*1). This is because in principle Raman spectroscopy cannot resolve two adjacent peaks present within the line width of the excitation laser. Spectral resolution of RAMANforce is 0.67 cm-1 (typical value) when using 785nm excitation wavelength and 1200 gr/mm grating. On the other hand, the spectrum pixel resolution, which is the sampling interval of the spectrum, is approximately 0.4 cm-1/pixel.

Spectral resolution (FWHM of Rayleigh light)

Read more here: What is Raman Spectroscopy?

Software - Measurement Functions

Outstanding software is required to analyse the large amount of data from high quality Raman images. The software provided by Nanophoton is equipped with high-speed data processing capacity and miscellaneous analytical functions to support imaging analyses performed by RAMANforce. Parts of its functions are introduced here.

Fast, high-resolution 3D Raman Imaging

Illustration diagram of 3D Raman ImagingUsing confocal optics, which detects Raman light inside the sample nondestructively, a 3D Raman image of a transparent sample can be obtained. This function repeats ultra-fast XY Raman imaging using line illumination several times while changing the stage height, and stacks the slices to create a 3-dimensional image in memory. By using the high imaging speed and depth resolution of RAMANforce, a more intuitive understanding can be obtained of the internal structure and component distribution inside a sample.

Brand-new wide field-of-view imaging along curved surface

Wide FOV imaging of curved surface of a tabletRAMANforce has a brand-new wide field-of-view (FOV) Raman imaging capability. It automatically measures the surface height of a sample while capturing a wide FOV microscopic image, and makes it possible to measure a wide FOV Raman image with auto-focusing. As the images show on the left, a fine focused Raman image can be obtained from all over the surface of a curved tablet.

The measurement algorithm is further improved to speed up the imaging 3 times faster than a previous RAMANtouch model.

Comparison of imaging speed of 9mm x 9mm (313,599 pixels) area

Fully automated particle scanning (optional)

Detect particles automatically in microscopic imageThis function detects particles in a microscopic image, and Raman measurements are automatically carried out with quick auto-focus. Fully utilising their fast and accurate laser beam scanning technology, Nanophoton has developed three different measurement modes: “auto point measurement at center of each particle”, “auto scanning of whole surface of each particle to get averaged spectrum”, and “auto Raman mapping of each particle with arbitrary scanning pitch”. Detected spectra are automatically identified using a real-time spectrum search during measuring. Measuring and analysis according to size classes as defined by ISO 16232 is also possible.

Interlaced Raman Imaging for quick overview

Interlaced imaging scans a sample skipping some pixels to quickly obtain a rough Raman image, then keeps scanning the rest while the Raman image becomes finer and finer. This mode will be the best scanning mode for a quick overview of component distribution.

Interlaced Raman Imaging of a tablet surface

Other dedicated scanning modes:

  • Real-time multivariate analysis
    Multivariate analysis is carried out during Raman imaging to show component spectra and their distribution in real time.
  • Random scanning (Optional)
    Sequential order of pixel measurement is determined randomly for each imaging mode to avoid sample heating by laser irradiation at a specific local area.

Software - Analysis Functions

Outstanding software is required to analyse the large amount of data from high quality Raman images. The software provided by Nanophoton is equipped with high-speed data processing capacity and miscellaneous analytical functions to support imaging analyses performed by RAMANforce. Parts of its functions are introduced here.

Quantitative analysis of components dispersiveness

Quantitative analysis of components dispersiveness

This function obtains a quantitative analysis of component dispersiveness such as uniformity, aggregational states and locality in a Raman image. Such can be investigated from every possible angle by counting the number of particle outlines along an evaluation axis such as (X and Y) or (r and θ), or calculating the standard deviation of number of particles in a (grid) or (Voronoi diagram) layout.

Composition rate evaluation by area ratio analysis

Distribution and ratio evaluation of components present on the tablet surface

The composition rate of a sample is evaluated from a Raman image which shows the distribution of components. It is calculated from a binary Raman image, which is made assuming that each pixel corresponds to only one component. Composition rate can also be calculated using CLS as described below.

Particle size analysis of a component from the Raman image

Particle size analysis of API in a tablet

Statistical analysis of particle sizes for a specific component can be carried out from the Raman image. Approximating a particle as an oval, size distribution can be indicated in a histogram on a number basis, area basis and volume basis. The statistics (maximum, minimum, average value, standard deviation, etc.) can also be calculated.

Noise reduction by Singular Value Decomposition (SVD)

Noise reduction processing of Raman image of HeLa cells

SVD first extracts the orthogonal spectra from the Raman image and places them in descending order of contribution. By reconstructing the Raman image after the removal of spectra with a low contribution ratio (i.e., noise reduction), a clear Raman image consisting of high S/N spectra can be obtained even if the S/N of raw data is non-optimal.

Linear combination analysis by Classical Least Squares (CLS)

CLS analysis of cathode materials of a lithium-ion battery

CLS represents the unknown spectrum by a linear combination of known raw material spectra and calculates intensity of the known spectra by the least squares method. A quantitative evaluation of the composition is applicable using raw material spectra obtained under the same measurement conditions.

Multivariate Curve Resolution (MCR)

Raman imaging analysis of HeLa cells using MCR

MCR extrapolates the component spectra by assuming that the unknown spectrum can be expressed by linearly combining a finite number (N) of component spectra and that both the spectrum intensity and concentration of each component have non-negative values. ALS (Alternating Least Squares) (which allows for a quick calculation) and MUR (Multiplicative Update Rule) (which guarantees convergence) are both installed and available.

Stability

Some Raman microscope manufacturers claim to have tools available to adjust the optical axis while others claim to provide automatic adjustment. Either means that their instruments are incomplete with an unstable optical axis. When using the perfect optics designed by Nanophoton, the concept of optical axis adjustment does not exist.

The best performance without any maintenance

Most Raman microscope manufacturers insist on offering an optical axis adjustment to users when using their instrument. This indicates that the optical axis will deviate over a period of even less than 1 day and the performance will drastically degrade. This is a problem caused by poorly designed optics in the instruments.

The engineers of Nanophoton are familiar with factors that cause deviations in an optical axis. By eliminating these primary causes, stable optics can be designed which hardly impact on its performance and save users from any daily optical axis adjustment.

What about long-term stability lasting for several months to a few years? The stability of RAMANforce increases over time and reaches equilibrium after 3 months from its delivery. Nanophoton provides free maintenance services after 3 and 12 months from delivery, in which even small misalignments will be completely fixed by their experienced engineers.

Conceptual diagram of long-term stability of optical axisEven a small misalignment will be fixed at the 3rd month maintenance point and optimal performance is always expected for all users after that. Further adjustments should not be required as the optical axis will have remained stable from its annual checkup.

The size of RAMANforce’s cabinetThe size of RAMANforce’s cabinet is very compact. This refined body improves the robustness of optical axis stability against subtle changes in environmental temperature and stabilises any spectral measurements.

Newly designed robust body structure decreases stage drift

Change of stage height caused by RT changeAny stage drift during measuring renders a Raman image blurred and destroys any high spatial resolution. RAMANforce has a newly designed robust structure inside its body, by which stage drift is maintained within only 50 nm during 1°C room temperature (RT) change. RAMANforce thus keeps the laser focus very stable during imaging measurements and always shows the highest spatial resolution.

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