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Exploring the hidden depth by confocal Raman experiments with variable objective aperture and magnification

  • The article analyzes experimentally and theoretically the influence of microscope parameters on the pinhole-assisted Raman depth profiles in uniform and composite refractive media. The main objective is the reliable mapping of deep sample regions. The easiest to interpret results are found with low magnification, low aperture, and small pinholes. Here, the intensities and shapes of the Raman signals are independent of the location of the emitter relative to the sample surface. Theoretically, the results can be well described with a simple analytical equation containing the axial depth resolution of the microscope and the position of the emitter. The lower determinable object size is limited to 2–4 μm. If sub-micrometer resolution is desired, high magnification, mostly combined with high aperture, becomes necessary. The signal intensities and shapes depend now in refractive media on the position relative to the sample surface. This aspect is investigated on a number of uniform and stacked polymer layers, 2–160 μm thick, with the best available transparency. The experimental depth profiles are numerically fitted with excellent accuracy by inserting a Gaussian excitation beam of variable waist and fill fraction through the focusing lens area, and by treating the Raman emission with geometric optics as spontaneous isotropic process through the lens and the variable pinhole, respectively. The intersectional area of these two solid angles yields the leading factor in understanding confocal (pinhole-assisted) Raman depth profiles.

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Author of HS ReutlingenRebner, Karsten; Boldrini, Barbara; Ostertag, Edwin
Erschienen in:Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry
Place of publication:Heidelberg
Document Type:Journal article
Publication year:2021
Tag:Raman depth profiling; composite layers; confocal Raman micro-spectroscopy; polymer films; refractive index mismatch; thickness determination
Page Number:14
DDC classes:540 Chemie
Open access?:Ja
Licence (German):License Logo  Creative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International