Polymers are omnipresent in contemporary products such as coatings and packaging. They begin as chemical formulations optimized for specific functions, are produced at-scale while being checked for consistency, fulfill their intended purpose, and are subsequently discarded. This presentation describes and demonstrates the advantages that Raman imaging microscopy offers for analyses of polymers at every stage of the product lifecycle.
A nondestructive and label-free technique, Raman microscopy is based on detecting shifts in the energy of light inelastically scattered by molecules. These shifts are visible in Raman spectra that serve as unique “fingerprints” for chemical identification. In the case of polymers, Raman can provide detailed insight into chemical properties, both by characterizing the distribution of sample components — in 3D — and by looking at polymerization processes over time. Raman imaging can also be used to find, quantify, and identify large numbers of polymer microparticles in environmental samples.
This webinar begins with a brief overview of the operational principles and hardware considerations for Raman microscopy and then covers variations of the method, including:
- Confocal Raman imaging, in which Raman spectra are acquired from every measurement point to visualize material distribution in 3D.
- Raman-based automated particle analysis, intended to greatly accelerate workflows for studying microplastics.
- Correlative Raman microscopy, which integrates other methods such as atomic force microscopy (AFM) to yield comprehensive data from samples.
These forms of Raman imaging microscopy are shown performing analyses of polymers in various fields of application and during different phases of the product lifecycle, from initial development to production, through quality control, use, and ultimately disposal.