Rapid Material Analysis Using Customizable Handheld Raman

Rigaku offers customizable handheld Raman for fast analysis and actionable results. Traditional handheld Raman instruments typically work at 785nm. The Rigaku Raman FirstGuard, on the other hand, comes in 532, 785 and 1064nm laser excitation to meet a wide range of material verification and analysis requirements. A lab-based technology now powers the first portable Raman analyzer.

FirstGuard: A Point-and-Shoot Device

The FirstGuard is a point-and-shoot device; it uses integrated software that couples an open architecture platform with user-defined settings to obtain highly reliable and actionable Pass-Fail results in the industry. This device is easy to use, does not require material preparation, and provides precise identification results within seconds.

FirstGuard handheld Raman analyzer

Figure 1. FirstGuard handheld Raman analyzer

To overcome the fluorescence issues seen at shorter excitation wavelengths, a ruggedized dispersive long-wavelength 1064nm Raman spectroscopic instrument provides a suitable solution. The cooled detector in the 1064 and 785nm model enables better signal-to-noise ratio when compared to conventional detectors employed in other closed system instruments. In addition, a unique volume holographic phase transmission grating offers optimal sensitivity. This grating has 95% spectral efficiency.

Customized Solutions

Rigaku Raman Technologies provides sophisticated analytical instruments that are customized to meet specific application needs. The FirstGuard comes with multiple wavelength options and customizable instrument features. With a choice of laser configuration, users can improve sampling sensitivity.

The laser configurations are suitable for common materials during production. They include:

  • 532nm for semi-quantitative applications, where analytical sensitivity is critical and fluorescence is not an issue
  • 785nm for non-fluorescent samples that need high sensitivity
  • 1064nm for highly fluorescent samples usually found in the biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries

FirstGuard with 1064nm Laser

The FirstGuard with 1064nm laser sets a new benchmark in user empowerment features, ease of use, customized handheld solution, lab-style data management, and low cost of ownership. The instrument also sets a new standard in identifying a wide range of raw materials for instant validation, while simultaneously maintaining vital customer requirements such as, affordability, ease-of-use, reliability and portability.

This image shows the spectra collected from a single sample at both 1064nm and 785nm excitation. With the 785nm excitation a large fluorescence band is seen which obscures all but the strongest Raman bands in the sample. However, when the 1064nm excitation was used, very clear Raman bands are seen, allowing for definitive identification of the sample.

Figure 2. This image shows the spectra collected from a single sample at both 1064nm and 785nm excitation. With the 785nm excitation a large fluorescence band is seen which obscures all but the strongest Raman bands in the sample. However, when the 1064nm excitation was used, very clear Raman bands are seen, allowing for definitive identification of the sample.

The main features of the FirstGuard are as follows:

  • Cooled detectors -CCD and InGas
  • Patented volume phase transmission grating with 95% spectral efficiency
  • High power - 490mW power variable in 1mW increments
  • Variable focal point adjustment
  • Switchable lithium ion battery
  • Integrated vial holder
  • Optional barcode reader
  • 21 CFR Part 11 compliant software

Table 1.

FirstGuard Specifications
Laser wavelength source Single
Dimensions (mm) 122W x 311D x 314H
Weight 2.3 kg (5 lbs.)
Grating Transmission volume phase (VPG™)
532nm Wavelength
Spectral Range (cm-1) 200 - 3000
Spectral Resolution (cm-1) 10 - 15
Laser Output Power (mW) 10 - 60
Detector CCD
785nm Wavelength
Spectral Range (cm-1) 200 - 2000
Spectral Resolution (cm-1) 7 - 10
Laser Output Power (mW) 30 - 490
Detector TE cooled CCD
1064nm Wavelength
Spectral Range (cm-1) 200 - 2000
Spectral Resolution (cm-1) 15 - 18
Laser Output Power (mW) 30 - 490
Detector TE cooled InGaAs
Operation and Analysis
Software Micro 2020, Windows XP/Vista/Win7
Log-In Process Multi-user level expiring passwords
Analysis Speed Exposure (automatic or user adjustable) 532 and 785: 20ms - 30s 1064: 20ms - 10s
Analysis Display Simplified pass-fail, spectra (overlay possible), or full analysis display
Results Display Pass-fail, or identification (with HQI)
Calibration Frequency Recommended daily
Data Transfer USB2.0/WiFi
Export File Format spc, csv, and pdf
Data Storage Capacity 14.9 GB
Battery Type/Life* Li ION rechargeable/3 hrs
Sample States Powders, liquids, solids
Spectral Library
Standard (260), user library, and 3rd party library (optional)
Miscellaneous
Compliances IQ/OQ/PQ & 21 CFR Part 11
Safety Compliance CE
Compliance Standards ASTM
Power 100-240VAC/+24VDC
Interchangeable Battery Optional
Ambient Temperature (C°) -10 to 30

Conclusion

Owing to constant fluorescence interference, competing 785nm instruments can only be utilized to confirm a fraction of common materials utilized in the production of consumer goods and pharmaceutical products. The First-Guard with 1064nm is capable of reducing or eliminating fluorescence issues for most sample types offering wider compound coverage. The FirstGuard with 1064nm laser also allows analysis via plastic packages and dark glasses which is difficult to obtain with 785nm spectrometers.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Rigaku Raman.

For more information on this source, please visit Rigaku Analytical Devices.

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