This paper provides an overview of how molecule-sensitive, spatially-resolved technologies can be applied for monitoring and measuring in microchannels. The principles of elastic light scattering, fluorescence, near-infrared, mid-infrared, and Raman imaging, as well as combination techniques, are briefly presented, and their advantages and disadvantages are explained. With optical methods, images can be acquired both scanning and simultaneously as a complete image. Scanning technologies require more acquisition time, and fast moving processes are not easily observable. On the other hand, molecular selectivity is very high, especially in Raman and mid-infrared (MIR) scanning. For near-infrared (NIR) images, the entire measuring range can be simultaneously recorded with indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) cameras. However, in this wavelength range, water is the dominant molecule, so it is sometimes necessary to use complex learning algorithms that increase the preparation effort before the actual measurement. These technologies excite molecular vibrations in a variety of ways, making these methods suitable for specific products. Besides measurements of the fluid composition, technologies for particle detection are of additional importance. With scattered light techniques and evaluation according to the Mie theory, particles in the range of 0.2–1 µm can be detected, and fast growth processes can be observed. Local multispectral measurements can also be carried out with fiber optic-coupled systems through small probe heads of approximately 1 mm diameter.
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