We present the development of a novel confocal hyperspectral Raman microscope capable of imaging at speeds up to 100 times faster than conventional point-scan Raman microscopy under high noise conditions. The microscope utilizes scanning galvomirrors to generate a two-dimensional (2-D) multifocal array at the sample plane, generating Raman signals simultaneously at each focus of the array pattern. The signals are combined into a single beam and delivered through a confocal pinhole before being focused through the slit of a spectrometer. To separate the signals from each row of the array, a synchronized scan mirror placed in front of the spectrometer slit positions the Raman signals onto different pixel rows of the detector. We devised an approach to deconvolve the superimposed signals and retrieve the individual spectra at each focal position within a given row. The galvomirrors were programmed to scan different focal arrays following Hadamard encoding patterns. A key feature of the Hadamard detection is the reconstruction of individual spectra with improved signal-to-noise ratio. Using polystyrene beads as test samples, we demonstrated not only that our system images faster than a conventional point-scan method but that it is especially advantageous under noisy conditions, such as when the CCD detector operates at fast read-out rates and high temperatures. This is the first demonstration of multifocal confocal Raman imaging in which parallel spectral detection is implemented along both axes of the CCD detector chip. We envision this novel 2-D multifocal spectral detection technique can be used to develop faster imaging spontaneous Raman microscopes with lower cost detectors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry