By Boris L. Volodin, Sergei Dolgy, Vladimir S. Ban, Davor Gracin, Krunoslav Juraić, and Leo Gracin
Shifted Excitation Raman Difference Spectroscopy (SERDS) has proven an effective method for performing Raman analysis of fluorescent samples. This technique allows achieving excellent signal to noise performance with shorter excitation wavelengths, thus taking full advantage of the superior signal strength afforded by shorter excitation wavelengths and the superior performance, also combined with lower cost, delivered by silicon CCDs. The technique is enabled by use of two closely space fixed - wavelength laser diode sources stabilized with the Volume Bragg gratings (VBGs). A side by side comparison reveals that SERDS technique delivers superior signal to noise ratio and better detection limits in most situations, even when a longer excitation wavelength is employed for the purpose of elimination of the fluorescence. We have applied the SERDS technique to the quantitative analysis of the presence of trace amounts of methanol in red wines, which is an important task in quality control operations within wine industry and is currently difficult to perform in the field. So far conventional Raman spectroscopy analysis of red wines has been impractical due to the high degree of fluorescence.