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We characterise the performance of a beam enhancing element ('photon diode') for use in deep Raman spectroscopy (DRS) of biological tissues. The optical component enhances the number of laser photons coupled into a tissue sample by returning escaping photons back into it at the illumination zone. The method is compatible with transmission Raman spectroscopy, a deep Raman spectroscopy concept, and its implementation leads to considerable enhancement of detected Raman photon rates. In the past, the enhancement concept was demonstrated with a variety of samples (pharmaceutical tablets, tissue, etc) but it was not systematically characterized with biological tissues. In this study, we investigate the enhancing properties of the photon diode in the transmission Raman geometry as a function of: a) the depth and b) the optical properties of tissue samples. Liquid tissue phantoms were employed to facilitate systematic variation of optical properties. These were chosen to mimic optical properties of human tissues, including breast and prostate. The obtained results evidence that a photon diode can enhance Raman signals of tissues by a maximum of × 2.4, although it can also decrease the signals created towards the back of samples that exhibit high scattering or absorption properties.

Original publication





Biomedical optics express

Publication Date





2130 - 2141


School of Physics and Astronomy, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QL, UK.