Confocal Raman Microscopy

Particulate contamination in pharmaceuticals and medical devices can greatly impact product quality, production efficiency, and brand reputation.

Foreign Particulate & Contamination Analysis - Gateway Analytical

It is critical to analyze samples and mitigate the risk before your product goes to market. Confocal Raman Microscopy is one of the testing approaches that can reveal the nature and distribution of contaminants in your biologics and small molecules.

At Gateway Analytical, we have different instrumentation setups and inspection techniques that enable accurate analysis of solid and liquid samples in their ideal environment.

What is Raman microscopy?

Raman microscopy is used to study small samples and small areas within transparent samples. A laser beam of shorter wavelengths illuminates samples. The technique leads to a significant enhancement of the depth resolution of molecular structures.

What is Confocal microscopy?

Confocal microscopy uses a pinhole at the back image plane of the microscope to block light from outside the focal plane. The result is a better separation of the signal from the small volume element you want to study from the signals coming from the surrounding material.

What is confocal Raman microscopy?

Confocal Raman Microscopy integrates confocal microscopy’s three-dimensional optical resolution and Raman spectroscopy’s sensitivity to molecular vibrations.

You thus get three-dimensional images of chemical compositions with micrometer resolutions. The image is obtained via the raster-scanning method, a laser focus analysis that measures the integrated intensity of characteristic Raman lines.

With confocal microscopy, light from a diffraction spot is recorded at a time. The testing technique is useful with other approaches that analyze the light signal and its spectral composition. It is possible to investigate, in micrometers, the degree to which mixtures of substances are homogeneous.

The method relies on the spatial resolution to discriminate small and thin structural differences in a sample. The sample is observed under an optical microscope with objective lenses of up to x 100 magnification, passing the Raman scatter to the spectrograph.

The spot size measurement depends on variables such as the laser beam’s wavelength, the numerical aperture of the objective, and the refractive index of the sample material.

Applications of Confocal Raman microscopy

Confocal Raman microscopy finds use in mapping the composition of pharmaceutical products and investigating the macro-phase separation of polymer mixtures.

This analysis is also helpful when studying medical devices, surface coatings, and carbon-fiber composites. The right confocal Raman microscopy instrumentation needs to:

  • Have high sensitivity for the proper analysis of small samples
  • Have a high spatial resolution for accurate analysis in the order of 0.5-1 µm.
  • Must have diverse laser wavelengths for the analysis of different materials

At Gateway Analytical, we employ high resolution and high sensitivity confocal Raman microscopy techniques to study spatially and structurally varying chemical components in advanced materials.

We have state-of-the-art Bruker Optics, Unchained Labs and Renishaw instrumentation, and our specialists have the in-depth expertise to help you understand the purity of your products.

With this technique, we can supply you with essential information on the morphology of materials, from polymorph distribution to crystallinity and the distribution of active and inert ingredients in your products.

Confocal Raman Microscopy analysis services offered by Gateway Analytical:

  • Identification of biomolecules, polymers defects, and organic and inorganic materials
  • Determining the presence and nature of carbon types in your samples, from amorphous carbon to graphitic, nanotubes and nanoparticles
  • Mapping the distribution of components in pharmaceutical tablets and excipients
  • Measurement of the morphology of material structures in polymers and semiconductors
  • Real-time cure observation of stability of mixtures (omit)

The signal spectrum obtained from one spot on the sample can be transformed into in-depth information about the sample materials’ chemical composition. We collect sample information by techniques such as transmission, emission, reflection, absorption, and fluorescence. Our testing techniques include: (omit this paragraph)

  • Inverted confocal Raman microscopy: This technique accommodates large samples and their environmental enclosures.
  • Raman imaging and scanning electron (RISE) microscopy: It helps with an in-depth analysis of sample topography, morphology, and surface structure.
  • Correlative Raman imaging and atomic force microscopy: We can attain atomic sample resolution that reveals both topographic and surface qualities, including adhesion and stiffness.
  • Tip-enhanced Raman scattering (TERS): To acquire sample information with a resolution lower than the diffraction limit. (omit all)

Confocal Raman microscopy is a non-destructive and label-free sample testing technique. Unlike other microscopy techniques, it can be applied to samples in controlled environments.

At Gateway Analytical, we combine different sampling approaches to provide meaningful insight into the compounds in your chemical and molecular samples.

Contact us to learn more.