The Latest at TRI

Leading-Edge Confocal Raman Microscope On Site At TRI

Updated: Aug 11

TRI has just installed a new WITec Alpha-300R Confocal Raman Microscope, valued at over $300,000, further building on the wide range of advanced spectroscopy resources available at TRI


Vanessa Castro (Senior Research Associate, Biosubstrates) making Raman measurements in the new, custom-designed ‘darkroom’ laboratory at TRI
Vanessa Castro (Senior Research Associate, Biosubstrates) making Raman measurements in the new, custom-designed ‘darkroom’ laboratory at TRI

Installed in its own purpose-designed laboratory space, the Raman microscope is fitted with two lasers. A 532 nm laser provides high quality skin spectra and images, to a depth of 50-60 μm, well into the viable epidermis. A lower energy, 785 nm laser is used on hair samples, where autofluorescence and sample warming are more of an issue.


Vanessa working on the Raman instrument computer in between measurements, with the room lights now turned on.  The microscope is mounted on an insulated platform to control vibrations, and the lasers (on the table next to the PC screen) are connected by optical cables to the microscope
Vanessa working on the Raman instrument computer in between measurements, with the room lights now turned on. The microscope is mounted on an insulated platform to control vibrations, and the lasers (on the table next to the PC screen) are connected by optical cables to the microscope

The team are very excited to have open access to such a cutting-edge instrument. Having the kit on-site, rather than purchasing access to a similar machine off-site, means that experiments can be run every day, and with no issues related to booking or travel. It is also easier to run experiments in the evening and weekends, and to quicky view data whenever necessary from the instrument computer.


It has taken the team, led by Samuel and Larry, 2-3 weeks to get the instrument fine-tuned and delivering images of the required quality and clarity for TRI. However, now things are up and running, the instrument is almost in daily use on a wide range of contract testing assignments and internal research projects.


You can use Confocal Raman Microscopy for a wide range of claims and performance evaluation tests including; active deposition and penetration, skin moisture measurements, skin lipid and protein characterisation and skin structure characterisation.



Please contact us if you are interested in our vibrational spectroscopy techniques. For a good introduction to use of spectroscopy imaging for cosmetic applications see this recent article from the team.