Spectroscopy: The full spectrum

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In November's Product Focus, we look at some of the latest spectroscopy systems, components and software 


Ocean Optics’ Education Packs, built around its STS microspectrometer and Spark spectral sensor, were designed to inspire tech-savvy students. With the kit hardware and commonly available samples, teachers can integrate absorbance, transmission, fluorescence, emission and ph measurements into their curricula, bringing spectroscopy concepts to life. Modular and flexible, the Education Packs are a budget-friendly option compared to the cost of purchasing all the included hardware individually.

The kits package a small-footprint spectral sensing system and illuminated cuvette holder (Edu-STS-VIS-Pack) or direct attach cuvette holder accessory (Edu-Spark-Pack) with the ideal combination of accessories and software. The included components can be assembled in multiple configurations to perform several types of measurements. By purchasing Education Packs, educators can save up to 40 per cent off the retail cost of the components if purchased separately.

The Edu-STS-VIS-Pack covers the wavelengths of 350-800nm while the Edu-Spark-Pack provides measurement over the range of 380-700nm.

Ocean Optics has established an educational resource page at https://oceanoptics.com/educational-resources to help educators get started. The range of experiments is geared from high school, to community college, and up to university level.



Admesy’s Rhea is the new flexible platform in configurable spectral measurement demands within the range between 200 and 1,100nm. 

Various choices in slit size, gratings and sensors allow users to build the ideal spectral measurement solution for each specific high-end measurement application or OEM integration. The Rhea series is available in a variety of optical systems: 5, 10 or 20mm collimating lenses, cosine corrector and fibre connectors. This flexibility makes the Rhea the ultimate high-end spectroradiometer for OEM integration, display, lighting and appearance measurements in both laboratory and production settings.



Currently, Avantes is developing the new generation Avaspec-Mini series. These very small spectrometers, which include the new CMOS detector with 4,096 pixels, allow users to work with the optimal resolution. 

As a result of new design principles and using the latest automated production allignment tools, a unit-to-unit reproduceability in combination with excellent temperature stability can be assured with the Avaspec-Mini, making it the ideal spectrometer for OEM applications. Multichannel capabilities and a DLL package are also available.

The AvaSpec-Mini is also suited for hand held applications in many areas of research, such as light analysis, chemical research and Raman spectroscopy.



AP Technologies has been appointed distributor for Oto Photonics’ spectrometers and light sources.

Oto offers a range of compact (~11 x 9 x 3.5cm³) C-T models from 180-1,700nm along with 200-900nm MEMS-based microspectrometers as small at 6cm³.

The UltraMicro microspectrometers replace the ‘collimator-plane grating-focusing mirror’ optical structure used in C-T spectrometers with a ‘non-spherical, mass-producible’ micro-sized component combining grating and focusing functions.

When combined with Oto’s high-precision optomechanical designs and SpectraSmart software, the MEMS technology enables microspectrometers that push the performance envelope to deliver the benefits of high accuracy, ultra-compactness, shock, vibration and weather resistance, and low cost – making them ideal for high volume OEM applications.

A wide range of standard C-T and MEMS-based configurations optimised for popular applications are available, and all Oto spectrometers can be specified with a choice of slit size, grating pitch and detector to optimise spectral range, resolution, SNR etc, as well as wi-fi functionality and stray light calibration.



GL Optic has implemented the new flicker metric stroboscopic visibility measure, which determines the probability of a stroboscopic effect, in its new GL Spectis 1.0 T Flicker spectrometer.

Flicker is an old phenomena requiring new consideration in the age of LED lighting. Other flicker metrics used to describe basic flicker parameters include flicker frequency, flicker index and flicker per cent.



Hamamatsu Photonics' TF series mini-spectrometer, the C13555MA, is used for colour measurement applications.

This USB-powered polychromator contains optical elements, a driver circuit and a built-in high-sensitivity CMOS sensor. The 512 pixel CMOS sensor allows for low power consumption while retaining the sensitivity of a CCD; the trigger function within the device can be used for spectroscopic measurement of pulse emissions.

Spectrum data can be acquired easily and then transferred to a PC using the USB connection and an optical fibre to guide the measured light. Free evaluation software is also included with the device and customers can use the disclosed DLL function specifications to design their own measurement programs.



Heraeus Noblelight’s new light solution has been developed for high accuracy, low cost, real-time NOx measurement.

NOx is a generic term for the nitrogen oxides NO and NO2. NOx instrument development based on UV resonance absorption spectroscopy (UV-RAS) has been difficult in the past, due to challenges in tuning the UV-lamp operation within its environment to optimise lifetime and intensity.

The NOx electrodeless discharge lamp (EDL) is a lamp with N2, O2 gas fill that emits a spectrum in the wavelength range between 200 to 600nm. NOx-specific spectral lines in the 200nm region can be used for the detection of NO and NO2, H2S, NH3, SO2 and other pollution gasses.

Heraeus Noblelight’s new plug-and-play light solution is a lamp module that offers a pre-tuned UV-light source in a stable environment to ensure optimised performance. The NOx lamp module has an integrated EDL and comes with the corresponding power supply combined in a box. This makes integration into an OEM UV-RAS system very easy and cost efficient, plus light source replacement at end of life is by simply replacing the module in the field.

Compared to other NOx measurement techniques, direct UV absorption is more precise the UV-region avoids the influence of H2O and CO2.



McPherson has announced that its one- and three-metre normal incidence spectrometers are now capable of imaging.

With the addition of a carefully adjusted horizontal aperture in the optical path, these spectrometers can now measure vertical spatial profile in addition to dispersed wavelengths. The ability to measure both spatial and wavelength resolution is beneficial for many applications, for example in fusion research.

They operate in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and view plasma impurity emission lines in the wavelength range of 300 to 3,200 Angstroms. The three-metre system reports results as follows: simultaneous wavelengths measured in a single discharge, about 37 Angstroms. With entrance slit width 0.02mm, users can achieve 15.3 picometer spectral resolution FWHM. The vertical observation range can be tailored to different heights with a convex mirror. Doing so enables edge profile measurement and full profile measurements that cover an entire vertical size of the plasma.

The new spectrometers can be built for high vacuum (10E-6 Torr) and also ultra-high vacuum (10E-10 Torr). They can be equipped with microchannel plate intensifiers or sensitive CCD detectors. Other solar blind and single channel detectors are available for scanning applications.



A new family of flexible wavelength selectors (FWS) from Spectrolight combines the wavelength tunability and adjustable bandwidth of a traditional monochromator with the circular uniform aperture of a bandpass filter.

Intended for spectroscopy and imaging applications such as microscopy, machine vision, and remote sensing, the flexible wavelength selector features manual or automated (USB) control of wavelength and bandwidth, with an aperture up to 10mm diameter. 

The FWS is based on Spectrolight’s TwinFilm technology. Several models are available with tuning ranges to cover the visible spectrum, and FWHM bandwidth is adjustable from 2-20nm. The compact in-line design – measuring 40 x 76 x 40mm – makes the FWS ideal for end users and OEM integration, both for filtering sources and/or detectors and cameras.  Other advantages include high (>75 per cent) optical efficiency, sharp wavelength cut-off, and high (106) out of band extinction. 



In August, StellarNet released a Forensic Spectral Library for Raman spectroscopy applications. The library includes over 200 narcotics, explosives, and chemical precursors. It was developed with assistance from the FBI and easily integrates into the SpectraWiz-ID software allowing searchability with real time ‘percentage match’ statistics.

The spectral library was developed measured on a Raman spectrometer equipped with a 785nm excitation source and fibre optic probe. Spectra were measured between 220-3,200cm-1 with better than 4 cm-1 spectral resolution. The library easily integrates with StellarCase-Raman and StellarNet’s modular line of Raman spectrometer systems.



Wasatch Photonics’ OCT spectrometer, the Cobra-S, offers ultra-high speeds of 250,000 lines per second and an enhanced roll-off performance for deep sample penetration with high image clarity. The Cobra-S can be designed into near-infrared OCT systems for research and OEM applications. 

As part of Wasatch Photonics’ Cobra spectrometer line, the Cobra-S is designed for a wide variety of spectral-domain OCT applications including ophthalmology, dermatology, angiography, oncology and industrial use.

At 250kHz, the Cobra-S provides line scan rates at least two to three times higher than standard spectrometer models. With the design providing improved roll-off performance, resulting in deeper imaging and higher image quality, the spectrometer offers increased accuracy with superior data. 

This spectrometer package includes available feature options for athermal opto-mechanics to maintain the performance level over a wide range of operating conditions. The compact and modular design was developed with research applications and OEM compatibility in mind. Cobra-S is available in multiple configurations to cover different wavelength regions for the utmost flexibility and function.