Peer Reviewed: Raman Chemical Imaging Spectroscopy

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Analytical Chemistry


Recent advances in liquid crystal tunable filter (LCTF) imaging spectrometers combined with multispectral image – processing strategies have made Raman chemical imaging a powerful technique for routine analysis of the chemical architecture of materials. Chemical imaging combines Raman spectroscopy and digital imaging to make the assessment of a material’s molecular composition and to structure a routine analytical procedure. In Raman imaging using LCTFs, thousands of linearly independent, spatially resolved spectra of analytes found within complex host matrices are collected. These spectra can then be processed without using stains, dyes, or contrast agents to generate unique image contrasts, which are intrinsic to analyte species. As a result, there is little or no need for sample preparation to characterize heterogeneous materials. Raman spectroscopy probes molecular composition and structure without being destructive to the sample. In addition, analyses can be performed remotely, allowing situ studies on samples in extreme environments (pressure, temperature). Raman chemical imaging is an efficient, widely applicable approach for understanding the relationship between a material’s molecular architecture and its function. This basic understanding is central to engineering advanced materials.