Time-Resolved Raman Spectrometer with High Fluorescence Rejection Based on a CMOS SPAD Line Sensor and a 573-nm Pulsed Laser

A time-resolved Raman spectrometer is demonstrated based on a 256 × 8 single-photon avalanche diodes fabricated in CMOS technology (CMOS SPAD) line sensor and a 573-nm fiber-coupled diamond Raman laser delivering pulses with duration below 100-ps full-width at half-maximum (FWHM). The collected backscattered light from the sample is dispersed on the line sensor using a custom volume holographic grating having 1800 lines/mm. Efficient fluorescence rejection in the Raman measurements is achieved due to a combination of time gating on sub-100-ps time scale and a 573-nm excitation wavelength. To demonstrate the performance of the spectrometer, fluorescent oil samples were measured. For organic sesame seed oil having a continuous wave (CW) mode fluorescence-to-Raman ratio of 10.5 and a fluorescence lifetime of 2.7 ns, a signal-to-distortion value of 76.2 was achieved. For roasted sesame seed oil having a CW mode fluorescence-to-Raman ratio of 82 and a fluorescence lifetime of 2.2 ns, a signal-to-distortion value of 28.2 was achieved. In both cases, the fluorescence-to-Raman ratio was reduced by a factor of 24—25 owing to time gating. For organic oil, spectral distortion was dominated by dark counts, while for the more fluorescent roasted oil, the main source of spectral distortion was timing skew of the sensor. With the presented postprocessing techniques, the level of distortion could be reduced by 88%-89% for both samples. Compared with common 532-nm excitation, approximately 73% lower fluorescence-to-Raman ratio was observed for 573-nm excitation when analyzing the organic sesame seed oil.