Ultrafast imaging Raman spectroscopy of large-area samples without stepwise scanning
Abstract. Step-by-step, time-consuming scanning of the sample is still the state-of-the-art in imaging Raman spectroscopy. Even for a few 100 image points the measurement time may add up to minutes or hours. A radical decrease in measurement time can be achieved by applying multiplex spectrographs coupled to imaging fiber bundles that are successfully used in astronomy. For optimal use of the scarce and expensive observation time at astronomical observatories, special high-performance spectrograph systems were developed. They are designed for recording thousands of spatially resolved spectra of a two-dimensional image field within one single exposure. Transferring this technology to imaging Raman spectroscopy allows a considerably faster acquisition of chemical maps. Currently, an imaging field of up to 1 cm2 can be investigated. For porcine skin the required measurement time is less than 1 min. For this reason, this technique is of particular interest for medical diagnostics, e.g., the identification of potentially cancerous abnormalities of skin tissue.