March 17, 2006, Edison, NJ--Horiba Jobin Yvon has introduced a Raman microscope compatible with AFM (atomic-force microscope) coupling and integration. Unveiled at Pittcon 2006 (March 12-17, Orlando, FL), the instrument is the first robust commercial introduction of this technology.
While Horiba's LabRAM Raman microscopes have optical far-field resolution that reaches into he submicron range, the combination of near-field optics with AFM technology allows Raman spectroscopic analysis of materials to be pushed to a resolution of 200 to 400 nm.
The coupling system in the LabRAM-HR NANO confocal Raman microscope couples an AFM head to the main Raman system; as a result, nanometer topographical information is coupled to chemical (spectroscopic) information. In-situ Raman measurements are made on various AFM units, and new and evolving techniques such as TERS (tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy) can be explored. Leading-edge research by university researchers and Horiba Jobin Yvon engineers show resolution to on the order of 100 nm. large sample-handling capabilities and sampling methodology are well-suited to the analysis of semiconductor materials, wafers, and opaque sample media.
Another system, the LabRAM-INV NANO, is designed for the life sciences. Its inverted Raman microscope allows small AFM/SNOM (scanning near-field optical microscope) microscope units to be coupled with Raman microscopy. The inverted geometry is useful for the study of transparent biological samples such as single cells, tissue samples, and biopolymers. AFM and SNOM fluorescence measurements can be combined with Raman analysis to provide a more complete characterization of sample morphology and chemistry on the nanometer scale.