Raman spectroscopy setups are quite expensive- \$10-\$30k seems pretty common. The spectrometer, the probe/fiber cable, and the laser are typically each $3k+.
The spectrometer could potentially be replaced by an absorption spectrometer. The probe/fiber cable could potentially be replaced by free space optics. The Raman-specific laser could potentially be replaced by a cheaper laser. These components can be had for hundreds of dollars instead of tens of thousands.
Some potential negative effects I can imagine from swapping these out are:
- Increased integration times
- Decreased spectral resolution, or wider peaks
- Decreased signal to noise ratio
- Increased maintenance
- Shorter lifetime
My broad question which I hope will be generally useful is, which of these components can be replaced with cheaper options with what effect?
My specific question, which may be less generally helpful, is which components should I get cheaper if I only care about signal-to-noise ratio and not integration time or peak width?