The detection of substances at range is extremely important to a number of industrial production and safety processes. Raman is a potent optical technique by which the nature of a substance can be ascertained, but to date has been limited to contact / short-range stand of operation due to the weakness of the Raman scattering effect. In this programme, we will develop and evaluate different stand-off Raman spectrometers to solve different industrial, medical and safety issues in sectors such as the Nuclear industry, mining, healthcare and pharma production. Crucially, we will use UV excitation sources to maximise the intensity of the Raman scatter, and use single photon detectors which not only confer exquisite sensitivity, but whose temporal response allows fluorescence-suppression techniques to be brought to bear on such systems. Whilst many of these techniques have been demonstrated individually, we will integrate them into a single system refined for deployment in the envisaged end-user scenario; such an endeavour would represent a highly timely, novel and disruptive achievement. Our use of single-photon detectors also plays strongly into the UK Quantum Technologies agenda, and will result in a timely and highly innovative early industrial application of these devices.
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