Part of the Oxford Instruments Group

Optofluidic Raman spectroscopy for chemical analysis


Raman spectroscopy is a powerful spectroscopic tool in the field of bio-chemical analysis for chemical fingerprinting. The ability of this technique to achieve multi-component detection makes this a technique with high chemical specificity. However the weak cross-section of Raman scattering makes it extremely important to have sensitive detectors and efficient optical systems that ensure the highest optical throughput for Raman photons while rejecting as much background luminescence as possible. Recent technological advances in sources, detectors and probes make it possible to reduce the form factor of Raman instruments.  This allows field portability for chemical analysis and clinical diagnosis. This talk addresses two aspects of Raman spectroscopy in chemical analysis and clinical diagnosis.

The first part of this talk details the realisation of a completely optical alignment-free, compact optofluidic device to perform Raman spectroscopy from small volume (~10 microlitres) of fluids. The use of this device for various analyte detection and reaction monitoring is shown. Further, its use in the food and drinks industry is covered with examples of using it for Scotch whisky analysis and detecting toxicity in alcoholic beverages.

The second part of the talk details a Raman spectroscopy bio-sensor which was designed to be integrated with a surgical robot for tissue analysis. The design constraints to achieve such a system are covered the issue of data representation when using Raman spectroscopy for clinical diagnostics is discussed.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Microfluidic Raman spectroscopy
    • Analytical chemistry
    • Food and drinks
  • Fibre Raman probe
    • Clinical diagnostics
    • Optical biopsy


Dr. Praveen Cheriyan Ashok
Post-doctoral Fellow
Optical Manipulation Group
School of Physics & Astronomy, University of St. Andrews

Dr. Praveen Cheriyan Ashok is a post-doctoral fellow in the optical manipulation group of University of St Andrews. He obtained his masters in Photonics from Cochin University of Science and Technology (India) in 2008 and PhD from University of St Andrews (Scotland) in 2011. His research focuses on developing spectroscopic and imaging techniques for bio-medical diagnostics and chemical sensing. He is mainly interested in techniques such as Raman spectroscopy, Optical Coherence Tomography and microfluidics.

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