• resonance Raman;
  • fluorescence rejection;
  • Raman cross-section;
  • Raman excitation profile;
  • Nile Blue

The aim of this work is to illustrate the power of recently developed methods for measuring resonance Raman scattering (RRS) spectra of efficient fluorophores (using a standard continuous wave excitation and a charge-coupled device (CCD)-based Raman spectrometer), by applying them to a detailed study of a specific fluorophore: Nile Blue A. A combination of methods are used to measure the RRS properties of Nile Blue A in water (quantum yield (QY) of 4%) and ethanol (QY of 22%) at excitation wavelengths between 514 and 647 nm, thus covering both pre-resonance and RRS conditions. Standard Raman measurements are used in situations where the fluorescence background is small enough to clearly observe the Raman peaks, while the recently introduced polarization-difference RRS and continuously shifted Raman scattering are used closer to (or at) resonance. We show that these relatively straightforward methods allow us to determine the Raman cross-sections of the most intense Raman peaks and provide an accurate measurement of their line-width; even for broadenings as low as ∼ 4 cm − 1. Moreover, the obtained Raman excitation profiles agree well with those derived from the optical absorption by a simple optical transform model. This study demonstrates the possibility of routine RRS measurements using standard Raman spectrometers, as opposed to more complicated time-resolved techniques. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.