Abstract

With the development of single-longitudinal mode diode lasers, there has been an increase in using these sources for Raman spectroscopy. This is largely due to the cost-effectiveness of diode lasers, which offer savings not only in initial capital cost, but also electrical, cooling, and replacement costs over time, when compared with ion lasers. The use of diode-lasers in confocal Raman microscopy has remained a challenge, however, due to poor transverse beam quality. In this work, we present the design and implementation of a simple spatial filter capable of adapting a single-mode diode laser source to confocal Raman microscopy, yielding comparable spatial resolution as a gas-ion laser beam for profiling and optical-trapping applications. For profiling applications, spatial filtering improved x,y resolution of the beam by a factor 10, which in turn increased optical-trapping forces by ∼90 times and yielded sevenfold greater Raman scattering signal intensity from an optically trapped phospholipid vesicle.

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