During the past decade, the use of portable Raman analyzers for field measurements has grown dramatically. However, most analyzers use 785 nm excitation lasers that can cause permanent eye damage. To overcome this safety concern, we have built a portable Fourier transform (FT) Raman analyzer using a 1550 nm retina-safe excitation laser and have compared its performance to our 1064 nm FT-Raman analyzer, which uses the same optical design. Raman theory predicts approximately five times lower peak intensities at 1550 nm. Although we found that intensities were as much as 20 times less intense, the analyzer is still capable of measuring spectra of sufficient quality to identify and differentiate chemicals.
Vol. 6, Iss. 6 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics
Carl Brouillette, Hermes Huang, Wayne Smith, and Stuart Farquharson, "Raman Spectroscopy Using 1550 nm (Retina-Safe) Laser Excitation," Appl. Spectrosc. 65, 561-563 (2011)