Market Profile: Portable Raman Spectroscopy

May 01, 2012
By Spectroscopy Editors

Raman spectroscopy is a powerful analytical technique that has rapidly developed from an impractical concept into a powerful handheld technique. The inherent advantages of Raman spectroscopy have led to rapid growth in demand from pharmaceutical and government organizations. As is typical in a fast-growing market, the competitive landscape is very dynamic.

Handheld and portable Raman demand by industry for 2011.
Raman spectroscopy can identify an extremely wide range of chemicals and compounds. Water does not interfere with Raman, and the technique can also analyze samples through transparent containers, which is a major advantage when investigating potentially hazardous materials. But perhaps the biggest advantage of Raman is the specificity of the technique, which eliminates the need for any method development or modeling. For many years Raman was an impractical technique, but technological innovations have rapidly brought it into the mainstream and have resulted in an explosion in the availability of handheld and portable Raman analyzers.

The largest areas of industrial demand are in pharmaceuticals and in government. Demand has grown rapidly for on-dock inspection of incoming raw materials, final product QC, and other applications in the pharmaceutical industry. Various governmental agencies are increasingly relying on Raman for reliable identification of potential explosives, chemical weapons, and narcotics. First responders are finding portable Raman analyzers an extremely valuable tool for quickly and accurately identifying potential hazards.

There are now at least a dozen competitors in the portable and handheld Raman market, compared to almost none before 2006. Thermo Fisher Scientific is the strong leader, with more than 40% vendor share. The worldwide market for portable and handheld Raman was more than $85 million in 2011 and should continue to see strong double-digit growth in the years ahead.

The foregoing data were extracted from SDi's market analysis and perspectives report entitled The Global Assessment Report, 11th Edition: The Laboratory Life Science and Analytical Instrument Industry, October 2010. For more information, contact Stuart Press, Vice President, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, (310) 641-4982, fax: (310) 641-8851,