What is Raman Spectroscopy?
Raman Spectroscopy: In brief, Raman Spectroscopy is a spectroscopic technique that measures the light matter interactions (scattering of photons due to bond vibrations in a molecule). A Raman spectrum is a unique chemical fingerprint that is optically acquired in seconds with minimal sample preparation. The information can be used for both identification of chemicals and the determination of concentration in a non-destructive, label-free manner. It works great with both aqueous and organic samples. The ease of sampling, non-destructive nature and fast measurement times of Raman spectroscopy make it a very powerful technique for real-time online measurements.


In this video, MarqMetrix Founder & CEO Dr. Brian Marquardt explains what Raman spectroscopy is, talks about its history, details how it works and give some examples of how companies today are using it to improve their processes – in less than 10 minutes!


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Raman spectroscopy is used across industries to:

  • Measure organic and aqueous samples with minimal to no sample preparation
  • Identify chemicals without labels
  • Measure without destroying the sample
  • Measure solids, powders, liquids, slurries, gas samples
  • Provide real-time qualitative and quantitative information in seconds
What is Raman Spectroscopy?



Our simple-to-use, one-click instrumentation uses a laser as the light source. The sample is illuminated, and the filtered scattered Raman photons are dispersed onto an imaging detector. The intensity of the dispersed photons onto the detector are plotted as a spectrum. The information-rich spectrum contains unique chemical information to determine both chemical identity and concentration.

What is Raman: TouchRaman Probes

Raman technology is regularly used in research, product development, process development, manufacturing, process control and quality control in many industries; biotech, food and beverage, petrochemical, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and oil and gas industries.


Raman spectroscopy is a well-established vibrational spectroscopy technique for determining both qualitative and quantitative molecular information from almost any type of sample (e.g. solid, liquid or gas). It is highly suitable for real-time process analysis and control applications because it provides direct information, quickly about the chemical bonds that change during reactions or processes. A significant advantage of Raman spectroscopy is that no sample preparation is required and the measurements can be carried out conveniently with immersion or stand-off probe technology.

Non-destructive measurement
Raman spectroscopy is a non-destructive, optical measurement technique that allows a sample to be measured multiple times without sample degradation.

Optical measurement
If you can see the sample we can measure it with Raman: measurements can be performed through packaging, at distances and at high temperatures and pressures.

Qualitative and quantitative
Raman spectroscopy can be used to quickly, within seconds, identify a molecule’s composition (qualitative) as well as determine the concentration of the molecule (quantitative).

Label-free chemical structure differentiation
Raman spectroscopy accurately measures small changes in material and chemical structure in a wide variety of substances without the need for isotopic or fluorescent labels.

Raman spectroscopy works with many sample types (liquids, solids, slurries, powders, gasses, aqueous). Unlike in Infrared (IR) spectroscopy, water signal does not overwhelm the spectrum.

Raman spectroscopy is indifferent to excitation wavelength
Raman spectra collected on instruments having different excitation sources look very similar. A major advantage when comparing library Raman data acquired using different instruments.

Raman Spectroscopy Uses


The potential of Raman spectroscopy is far reaching. Its label-free, non-destructive nature makes it useful for situations where there is optical access to the sample and chemical analysis is required.

  • Track molecule structure changes in materials (including carbon)
  • Verify accurate compound and concentration in compounded medicines
  • Track crystallinity changes
  • Identify substances, including minerals and gemstones
  • Identification of molecular polymorphic forms
  • Evaluate pressure or stress on a structure
  • Assess the direction or orientation of molecules
  • Analyze single-cells and tissue for disease diagnosis
  • Study molecular hydration shells to determine aggregation
What is spectroscopy?
Spectroscopy is a scientific measurement technique that studies the interaction between light and matter.
What is Raman spectroscopy?
Raman spectroscopy relies on Raman scattering, or inelastic scattering, of monochromatic light to identify molecular components. Raman scattering occurs when there are changes in electronic, vibrational or rotational energy. This wavelength change in light is also referred to as the Raman effect.
What is a spectrometer?
A spectrometer is a device that can disperse light onto a detector and measure the intensity of light at different wavelengths.
How does a spectrometer work?
A spectrometer disperses light into different wavelengths (color), known as a spectrum. The spectrum is displayed onto a camera and composed into a digital readable measurement.
What is a Raman shift?
Raman shift, usually measured in relative wavenumbers (cm-1), is the measure of change in the energy of the scattered photon compared to the excitation photon. This shift is due to the energy imparted into a chemical bond to induce a Raman active vibration.