• Confocal Raman microscopy;
  • 3D imaging;
  • artefacts;
  • oil immersion

This article compares the quality of Raman images obtained using metallurgical and oil immersion objectives to map complex structures in two and three dimensions. While the performance of these objectives for depth profiling planar structures has been discussed at length in the literature, the same comparison has not yet been made for 3D mapping of complex objects, where additional complications are introduced by non-planar geometries. Studying samples with increasing complexity shows that the oil immersion objective is strongly preferred because it yields brighter images with better contrast, and eliminates some new and confusing artefacts that do not arise with simple planar objects. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.