In this communication, we describe a technique for obtaining high-fidelity Raman images and Raman spectra. The instrumentation provides the ability to rapidly collect large-format images with the number of image pixels limited only by the number of detector elements in the silicon charge-coupled device (CCD). Wavelength selection is achieved with an acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF), which maintains image fidelity while providing spectral selectivity. Under computer control the AOTF is capable of μs tuning speeds within the operating range of the filter (400-1900 nm). The AOTF is integrated with the CCD and holographic Raman filters to comprise an entirely solid-state Raman imager containing no moving parts. In operation, the AOTF is placed in front of the CCD and tuned over the desired spectral interval. The two-dimensional CCD detector is employed as a true imaging camera, providing a full multichannel advantage over competitive Raman imaging techniques. Images and spectra are presented of a mixture of dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and L-asparagine, which serves as a model system for the study of both lipid/peptide and lipid/protein interactions in intact biological materials. The Raman images are collected in only several seconds and indicate the efficacy of this rapid technique for discriminating between multiple components in complex matrices. Additionally, high-quality Raman spectra of the spatially resolved microscopic regions are easily obtained.
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