Raman spectroscopy is a measurement tool that has made its way into many new industries and shown a lot of promise in many types of scientific endeavors. How It WorksTouchRaman probes and other devices that use Raman spectroscopy technology gather data about substances at the micron scale. Typically, a coherent light is shined upon the material that is being measured. The laser beam will scatter in a unique pattern depending on the material it lands on. Observing the scatter makes it possible to map traits of the substance or substances being observed, their degree of density, and other traits. The technique -- which is actually a collection of slightly varying measuring approaches -- is named after the Raman effect, wherein electromagnetic waves hit a molecule and affect its bonds. In this case, a monochromatic wave of light is applied, making it easier to interpret the end result. ApplicationsChemistry is the field in which TouchRaman spectroscopy is most often applied because it gathers its information from reacting to chemical bonds. However, its applications are wide-ranging. Pharmaceutical researchers use specialized devices such as TouchRaman probes to identify active components in drugs, and the form those ingredients have at the molecular scale. TouchRaman instruments such as these can also be valuable in physics experiments to determine the molecular state of substances, as well as measure their temperature. Some TouchRaman probes can even gather data about corrosive substances that would normally do damage to the measuring tool. Spatially Offset Raman SpectroscopyAnother type of Raman spectroscopy, called "spatially offset Raman spectroscopy," is able to "see" past surface layers and can be used to, for example, positively identify counterfeit drugs without opening their containers. They can also be used to monitor biological cells, in some ways similar to an ultrasound. Research projects are in the making to see if different TouchRaman and similar instruments can be used to find explosive substances from a distance, and even to test whether individual living cells are cancerous, which could make surgery considerably less risky and more precise, boosting favorable prognoses. MicrospectroscopyRaman spectroscopy can be used to examine minerals, cells, and forensics evidence on a microscopic level. Technicians can even use it to measure the level of cholesterol or other substances in foodstuffs. CustomizationWhile manufacturers such as Industrial O2 Sensors sometimes sell ready-made TouchRaman and similar instruments to government, academic and pharmaceutical organizations, those manufacturers can also specialize and build machines ideally suited to the measurement and observation needs of the individual order.