Raman Spectrometer Developed From A Phone Camera

Modern-day cell phone cameras advance in quality and low light sensitivity due to back-illuminated CMOS sensors and noise removal software pre-processing the captured images. These cameras’ outstanding quality and sensitivity can also act as sensitive light detectors, such as handheld cell-phone-sized Raman spectrometer, for various types of sensing.

The cell-phone-based Raman and emission spectral detector, coupled with a diffraction grating and cell-phone camera system, provides means for detecting, recording, and identifying chemicals, drugs, and biological molecules in situ through their Raman and fluorescence spectra. The cell phone spectrometer recorded Raman spectra from various chemicals and biological molecules, including the resonance-enhanced Raman spectra of carrots and bacteria.

The scientists simplified the excitation and emission geometry of the cell phone Raman spectroscopic system by lowering the count of optical components that record the spectra and integrating them into a cell phone. Future cell phones can identify chemical impurities and pathogens in situ within minutes using this inexpensive yet accurate pocket Raman system.

The designed and built system was also used to create Raman images of the samples by utilizing a position scanning stage in conjunction with the system. This small and portable system is ideal for in-field Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy and could be incorporated into future cell phones.

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