A combined Raman microprobe and laser trapping system using near-infrared (NIR) laser light was developed for the investigation of single organic microdroplets. The NIR laser light is noninvasive and reduces fluorescence interference in the Raman spectrum for organic molecules. The focused laser beam used for the laser trapping of a microdroplet serves simultaneously as the laser microprobe for Raman measurement. With this system, the focused laser spot is about 1 mu m in diameter, which is small enough for the laser trapping of a single toluene microdroplet in water. The system also makes it possible to visualize a focused laser spot together with a laser-trapped microdroplet by using holographic notch filters. The Raman spectrum for a single laser-trapped toluene microdroplet can be obtained from below 100 cm-1 to above 3000 cm-1 with a charge-coupled device (CCD) detector. Fluorescence interference in the Raman spectrum is completely removed by using NIR laser light. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), defined as the ratio of the peak height to the standard deviation of the baseline noise in the spectrum, exceeded 250 for the 1003 cm-1 band of a toluene microdroplet at 1 s, which is sufficient to allow identification of the molecular species of a microdroplet.

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