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Fast Raman Imaging Microscopy

Oltjen, James
University of California - Davis
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Raman microscopy is a powerful tool for nondestructive, label-free chemical imaging that has found numerous applications in the pharmaceutical, forensic, semiconductor, materials science, and biological fields. The PI has developed a faster and lower cost Raman micro-spectrometer, a tool that allows mapping of chemical composition and other material properties at microscopic scales. Broader and easier access to Raman mapping could in turn prompt innovation in how the tool is used for a vast range of applications, from biomedical research, to food and pharma, to engineering materials. This project provides an opportunity for market research that will result in a thorough and deep understanding of the customer needs when it comes to chemical mapping and how their technology could potentially alleviate the customer's pain points and capture new customers. The scientist involved will learn fundamental entrepreneurial skills that will not only help in the commercialization efforts of this technology but could also be applied towards their future research endeavors.

The PI's technology is a novel confocal Raman microscope capable of imaging at speeds up to 100 times faster than conventional point-scan Raman microscopy. This project involves market research where a range of potential customers are involved in assessing the current chemical imaging market and the requirements for future products in this field. The result will help guide a decision on whether this product (or a similar product) has market value, the most valuable product features that can be incorporated or developed, and the market(s) where these products should initially be marketed. With this investigation, it is expected that a proper decision on the future of this technology can be made along with a decision on future developments that increase the likelihood of commercial success.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
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