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Raman spectroscopy has found its way into a wide range of applications and is successfully applied for qualitative and quantitative studies. Despite significant technical progress over the last few decades, there are still some challenges that limit its more widespread usage. This paper presents a holistic approach to addressing simultaneously the problems of fluorescence interference, sample heterogeneity, and laser-induced sample heating. Long wavelength shifted excitation Raman difference spectroscopy (SERDS) at 830 nm excitation combined with wide-area illumination and sample rotation is presented as a suitable approach for the investigation of selected wood species. Wood as a natural specimen represents a well-suited model system for our study as it is fluorescent, heterogeneous, and susceptible to laser-induced modifications. Two different subacquisition times (50 and 100 ms) and two sample rotation speeds (12 and 60 r/min) were exemplarily assessed. Results demonstrate that SERDS can effectively separate the Raman spectroscopic fingerprints of the wood species balsa, beech, birch, hickory, and pine from intense fluorescence interference. Sample rotation in conjunction with 1 mm-diameter wide-area illumination was suitable to obtain representative SERDS spectra of the wood species within 4.6 s. Using partial least squares discriminant analysis, a classification accuracy of 99.4% for the five investigated wood species was realized. This study highlights the large potential of SERDS combined with wide-area illumination and sample rotation for the effective analysis of fluorescent, heterogeneous, and thermally sensitive specimens in a wide range of application areas.

Original publication





Applied spectroscopy

Publication Date



Central Laser Facility, Research Complex at Harwell, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK Research and Innovation, Harwell Campus, UK.