Raman spectrometry has historically been limited to the study of pure, nonfluorescent samples. During the period 1966-1986, several workers demonstrated that the use of deep-red or near-infrared (NIR) lasers would allow the observation of Raman spectra without exciting fluorescence. The ability to obtain Raman spectra in the deep red or NIR could not be generally realized in reasonable measurement times, primarily because of the insensitivity of the available detectors (photomultiplier tubes or diode arrays). In addition, the krypton or solid-state ion-pumped lasers required for these measurements were very expensive.

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