Ocean Optics Expands Product Portfolio

PIXELTEQ multispectral imaging technology now available exclusively from Ocean Optics
Dunedin, Florida, USA (October 17, 2016) – Ocean Optics, the industry leader in modular spectroscopy applications and products, has consolidated the innovative multispectral sensing and imaging offerings of PIXELTEQ into the Ocean Optics product portfolio. The move further expands Ocean Optics’ spectral imaging design and manufacturing capabilities in support of researchers, developers and OEMs across a wide range of applications including biomedical, food and agriculture, and machine vision.

Ocean Optices & Pixelteq

Exclusively from Ocean Optics Pixelteq multispectral imaging technology

PIXELTEQ technology combines patented microlithography expertise with state-of-the-art coating processes. This exclusive technology enables patterning of multiple dielectric, metal and color filter arrays directly onto imaging sensors, creating highly compact and snapshot multispectral imaging cameras and systems. Its solutions enhance Ocean Optics’ existing line of modular spectroscopy products by offering new options for lab, field and industrial use.

Product information and support for PIXELTEQ products are available at www.pixelteq.com or by phone at +1 727.216.7140.

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Stimulate STEM Learning with All-in-One Spectroscopy System

Affordable Ocean Optics Flame-CHEM combines spectrometer with light source and cuvette holder
Dunedin, Florida, USA (September 13, 2016) – Ocean Optics has developed a new all-in-one spectrophotometer system for educators, the Flame-CHEM. The Flame-CHEM systems combine a high performance, compact Flame UV-Vis (200-850 nm) or Vis-NIR (350-1000 nm) spectrometer, with an all-in-one direct-attach light source and cuvette holder, into a single affordable package. Flame-CHEM systems are ideal for teaching regular absorbance and transmission measurements. Ocean Optics offers free curricula to facilitate student learning, or educators can design their own experiments. While conveniently pre-configured, the Flame-CHEM system also provides customization options to accommodate new lesson designs.

Ocean Optics Flame-CHEM

Affordable Ocean Optics Flame-CHEM combines spectrometer with light source and cuvette holder.

The foundation of the Flame-CHEM system is the sensitive, fast and easy-to-use Flame spectrometer, which delivers high thermal stability with low unit to unit variability. Students will use the same instruments used by researchers and manufacturers in their labs and OEM product designs. Its robust construction withstands repeated student handling. There are no moving parts that can break or wear out.

The systems’ direct attach cuvette holders accept 1 cm pathlength cuvettes for measuring absorbance and transmission of liquid samples. The integrated light source is dependent on the system ordered. Flame-CHEM UV-Vis systems come with a combined deuterium-tungsten halogen (200-1100 nm) source; a tungsten halogen source with a violet LED (~390-1000 nm) is supplied with the Flame-CHEM Vis-NIR.

While preconfigured with all the accessories needed, the FLAME-CHEM systems can easily be customized, providing flexibility to develop new lessons with existing equipment. The light source-cuvette holder can be removed and discrete sampling devices used in its place; spectrometer entrance slits can be switched out to adjust the resolution and throughput; and discrete sampling devices used in place of the direct-attach accessories.

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New Nanosponge Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Substrates from Ocean Optics

Gold-silver alloy on SERS substrates detects trace level explosives and pesticides
Dunedin, Florida, USA (August 3, 2016) – Ocean Optics has introduced a new substrate for Raman spectroscopy applications. The new RAM-SERS-SP Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy substrates use a proprietary gold-silver nanosponge alloy to produce highly sensitive, trace-level Raman spectroscopy measurements. The applications for SERS range from detection of explosives and narcotics, to food safety, anti-counterfeit tagging, and biological research.

Ocean Optics, RAM-SERS-SP Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

The new RAM-SERS-SP Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy substrates

SERS substrates amplify very weak Raman signals by many orders of magnitude. Fast, repeatable measurements of SERS-active analytes are possible even to parts per trillion levels. Silver-only SERS substrates work best with 532 nm Raman excitation, and gold substrates are better suited to 785 nm Raman systems. By combining the silver and gold on one substrate, the new SERS nanosponge substrates perform well with either wavelength. Also, when used with 638 nm Raman excitation, the nanosponge substrates are enhanced to an even higher level of sensitivity.

RAM-SERS-SP nanosponge substrates are more robust than other options and handle the deposition of sensitive samples more effectively. The higher sensitivity of these substrates opens up new opportunities for SERS applications–particularly in addressing the growing need for fast, effective detection of explosives and pesticides.

The new substrates work with the complete range of Ocean Optics Raman instruments. For users to take full advantage of the RAM-SERS-SP nanosponge substrates’ sensitivity, Ocean Optics now offers 638 nm modular Raman solutions and 638 nm versions of its mini handheld IDRaman spectrometers.

Ocean Optics’ proprietary plasma deposition permits affordable mass production with high repeatability and customization options. Standard substrates are microscope slide format with a 4 x 4 mm active area. Ocean Optics uses optical-grade borosilicate glass for compatibility with a wide range of solvents.

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Ocean Optics Welcomes New Vice President of Operations

John Hsing to lead manufacturing operations
Dunedin, Florida, USA (June 17, 2016) – Ocean Optics, the industry leader in modular spectroscopy applications and products, has appointed John Hsing Vice President of Operations.

Hsing, Ocean Optics

John Hsing, Vice President of Operations, Ocean Optics

In his new role, Hsing will lead the company’s manufacturing operations, production engineering, supply chain, and quality control. As a member of the Ocean Optics board, he will also help guide the strategic growth of the company.

Hsing comes to Ocean Optics from IDEX Corporation – Fluid Management (Wheeling, Illinois), where as Director of Operations, he led a successful Lean transformation. Prior to IDEX, he held engineering and product development positions at Brunswick Corporation (Lake Forest, Illinois) and ITW Shakeproof (Elgin, Illinois). Hsing holds an MBA from the University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois) and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, Illinois).

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Ocean Optics Names Winner of 2016 Young Investigator Award

Cash prize and grant awarded during SPIE BiOS/Photonics West 2016 conference
Dunedin, Florida, USA (March 16, 2016) – Ocean Optics, the industry leader in modular spectroscopy applications and products, recently named Wentao Wang from Florida State University the winner of the 2016 Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award.

2016 Young Investigator

Caption: Pictured (from left to right) at the presentation of the 2016 Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award are Dr. Hedi Mattoussi (Florida State University); Chair of the Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications conference Dr. Wolfgang Parak (Philipps-Universität Marburg); award recipient Wentao Wang (Florida State University); Dr. David Creasey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ocean Optics; and conference co-chair Dr. Marek Osinski (University of New Mexico). Photo courtesy of SPIE.

The Young Investigator Award is presented to a researcher who is a graduate student or has completed their graduate work in the last five years and is the primary author of the best juried paper submitted as part of the “Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications XI” conference at the 2016 BiOS/Photonics West Symposium. The honor includes a $1,000 investigator award and a $2,000 company grant to the lab where the work was performed.

Wang was honored for the paper titled “Design of a multi-coordinating polymer as a platform for functionalizing metal, metal oxide and semiconductor nanocrystals,” coauthored by Xin Ji (Florida State University), Ocean Nanotech, LLC, Anshika Kapur (Florida State University), and advisor Dr. Hedi Mattoussi (Florida State University). The award was presented by Dr. David Creasey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ocean Optics, and Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications conference co-chairs Dr. Wolfgang Parak (Philipps-Univ. Marburg) and Dr. Marek Osinski (The Univ. of New Mexico).

The paper “Comparison of Fe2O3 and Fe2CoO4 core-shell plasmonic nanoparticles for aptamer mediated SERS assays,” by Haley Marks (Texas A&M University) and advisor Dr. Gerard L. Coté, was recognized as runner up.

2016 Young Investigator

Caption: Pictured (from left to right) at the presentation of the 2016 Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award are Chair of the Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications conference Dr. Wolfgang Parak (Philipps-Universität Marburg); runner up award recipient Haley Marks (Texas A&M University); Dr. David Creasey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ocean Optics; and conference co-chair Dr. Marek Osinski (University of New Mexico). Photo courtesy of SPIE.

Ocean Optics has sponsored the Young Investigator Award since 2005 and has long supported young scientists from around the world through sponsorships, grant programs and partnership.

“Ocean Optics spectroscopic technologies are well suited to biomedical applications, where measurement flexibility is valued,” said Ocean Optics’ Creasey. “It’s very exciting for us to collaborate with researchers at the forefront of new developments in nanotechnology and life sciences applications.”

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Ocean Optics Enhances Capabilities of NIRQuest Series Spectrometers

New replaceable slit design and internal shutter option
Dunedin, Florida, USA (March 3, 2016) – Ocean Optics has enhanced the NIRQuest series of small-footprint near-infrared spectrometers. All NIRQuest spectrometer models now come with a replaceable slit design as standard, increasing measurement flexibility with easy user changes in the field. Additionally, the option of adding an internal shutter is now available to more effectively manage light throughput and dark measurements in experiment setups.


All NIRQuest spectrometer now have a replaceable slit design and internal shutter option.

The NIRQuest is a robust, reliable spectrometer with a fast response time and good optical resolution over 900-2500 nm to suit applications from moisture detection and chemical analysis to high-resolution laser and optical fiber characterization. Slit size is one of the determining factors in the optical resolution of a spectrometer. The choice inevitably involves design trade-offs: A larger slit increases throughput, but at the expense of optical resolution. A smaller slit yields higher optical resolution, but decreases throughput. The flexibility to adjust the width of the slit helps eliminate these trade-offs by granting users the ability to adapt spectrometer performance in the field, without need for recalibration.

Shutter type is another mechanism to configure a spectrometer for maximum performance in a given application. The NIRQuest’s new internal shutter option is useful for applications where placing an external shutter is difficult, such as emissive setups and probe-based measurements. Internal shutters are also more convenient for applications where light intensities change, requiring users to dynamically adjust integration times and renormalize the spectrometer. The internal shutter improves signal throughput in the setup and allows for shorter integration times for an equivalent level of signal. Operation via software makes shutter control as simple as a few keystrokes, with no extra components or cabling to contend with.

The NIRQuest series includes several models of preconfigured spectrometers, each optimized for optimum response within a specific wavelength range. A custom model is also available, for users who want to select the ideal combination of optical bench components, including gratings, slits and filters for a particular application. External hardware triggering functions allow users to capture data when an external event occurs, or to trigger an event after data acquisition.

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Ocean Optics Expands Flame Spectrometer Line with Versatile Miniature NIR Spectrometer

Flame-NIR puts the power of NIR analysis in a small-footprint instrument
Dunedin, Florida, USA (February 5, 2016) – Ocean Optics has expanded its Flame spectrometer family. Flame-NIR delivers powerful near infrared spectroscopy in a compact, affordable instrument. With a cost about one-fourth that of a traditional NIR system, Flame-NIR pairs a high performance uncooled InGaAs array detector with a small optical bench for spectral response from 950-1650 nm. The spectrometer is ideal for OEM integration as well as lab, industrial and field use in food integrity, biomedical sciences and pharmaceuticals applications.


Flame-NIR, Ocean Optics

Flame-NIR is sensitive, fast and easy to use. Unlike other lower-cost NIR spectrometers, Flame-NIR uses an InGaAs diode array detector for high sensitivity with concurrent measurement of all wavelengths. It also delivers high thermal stability and low unit to unit variation without compromising the flexibility and configurability that are the hallmark of modular, miniature spectrometers. Spectrometers come preconfigured or custom configured, with a replaceable slit design that enables users to adjust resolution and throughput on demand. Complete systems, including accessories such as fibers and light sources, can be configured for under $10,000 (USD). Until March 18, 2016 Ocean Optics is offering a 10% discount on Flame-NIR spectrometer pricing.

Flame-NIR benefits from high precision alignment methods that elevate spectrometer performance for a range of demanding applications. Because its design is not dependent on thermo-electric cooling, it has relatively low power consumption. This design, coupled with a small footprint (89.1 mm x 63.3 mm x 31.9 mm) and low weight (265 g), make it convenient to integrate into handheld and portable systems.

Operation of Flame-NIR is plug and play. A choice of USB or RS-232 communications, supported by drivers and software, makes it easy to integrate into almost any system. Indicator LEDs show continuous power and data transfer status. Flame-NIR is compatible with Ocean Optics’ range of light sources, optical fibers, sampling accessories and software.

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Flame Lives Up to Its Name, Joins ‘Trail by Fire’ Expedition

Ocean Optics spectrometers to be used in aerial study of volcanic emissions
Dunedin, Florida, USA (October 12, 2015) – Ocean Optics has sponsored a team of volcanologists on a mission to study volcanoes in the South American Andes, providing Flame miniature spectrometers and accessories. The ‘Trail by Fire’ project, funded by a grant from Land Rover and the Royal Geographical Society, will attempt to quantify the total amount of volatile chemical elements released by volcanoes in Chile and Peru. Ocean Optics’ Flame spectrometers will be flown directly below volcanic plumes on UAVs, taking differential optical absorption spectrometry (DOAS) measurements to quantify sulphur dioxide (SO2) levels, with the goal of better understanding volcanic effects on climate.

Ocean Optics, Trail by Fire

An Ocean Optics Flame is mounted to a UAV to take DOAS measurements during volcano fly-overs.

The Flames will be part of world’s first mobile volcano observatory, a specially outfitted Land Rover Defender 110, reaching some of the most remote and hard to study volcanoes on earth. Faced with difficult to navigate terrain and high altitudes, the team chose TurboAce Matrix UAVs to carry the Ocean Optics spectrometers to the volcanic plumes for measurement. Using UAVs allows the researchers to get closer to the plume and collect a full cross section of measurements. This will provide higher accuracy than the ground-based measurements typically used in DOAS. The Flame’s small size and low weight (265 g) were key factors in its selection, as payload weight, always an important consideration for UAVs, is especially critical at high altitude.

More importantly, despite its small size, the Flame offers the high resolution and thermal stability required for DOAS measurement, allowing the team to measure very small fluctuations in SO2 content. The spectrometers are controlled by the UAV’s onboard microprocessor, integrated with Ocean Optics’ open source SeaBreeze drivers.

Spectra collected by the Flame are saved to the UAV’s onboard memory and wirelessly beamed back to the ground station. This real-time feedback will allow the team to verify operation and make measurement adjustments as the UAV is in flight. The spectrometer’s modular design, with interchangeable slits to adjust resolution and throughput, will enable the team to respond quickly and easily to changing conditions in the field.

“This is truly a great application for our next generation miniature spectrometers, “explains Ocean Optics product manager Henry Langston. “We love the opportunity to partner with our users, helping them take our science to new places. This is why we have a team of applications engineers on staff, to work with customers to solve challenging measurement problems. It’s been so exciting to see the Trail by Fire project come together.”

Ocean Optics, Trail by Fire

The ‘Trail by Fire’ team (L-R): Dr. Philipson Bani, Dr. Ian Schipper, Aaron Curtis, Dr. Talfan Barnie, Dr. Nial Peters, and Dr. Yves Moussallam

To follow the Flames’ adventures on this mission, sign up for Ocean Optics’ monthly eNewsWire, or follow the company on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

The ‘Trail by Fire’ expedition is being funded by a £30,000 grant from Land Rover, in addition to the Defender 110 donation. A number of other partners have donated equipment to the project, including Ocean Optics’ sister company, Crowcon Detection Instruments. Crowcon’s personal gas monitors will alert the team to any potential danger as they collect samples of toxic volcanic gases.

Ocean Optics’ spectrometers are no strangers to heat and flame. They’ve also been used in studying pyrotechnics, muzzle flashes from rifles, rocket plume emissions, and applications involving flame analysis of metals and other materials.

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Detector-Only Version Added to Low Cost Spectral Sensing Line for High Volume OEM Use

Ocean Optics Spark-DET-VIS tiny, low-cost sensor ideal for OEM integration
Dunedin, Florida, USA (September 25, 2015) – Ocean Optics has expanded its Spark spectral sensor range with the addition of the Spark-DET-VIS. The most versatile of the Spark line of spectral sensors, the tiny sensor-only version weighs less than 1g, making it the smallest spectral device on the market. While optical technology advances have shrunk instrument size, the Spark-DET-VIS still delivers full spectral measurements over the visible wavelength range of 380-700 nm.


Spark-DET-VIS is a tiny, low-cost sensor ideal for OEM integration.

The low-cost Spark-DET-VIS measures simple absorbance, fluorescence and emissive color. Its ultra-compact size is ideal for high volume integration into the custom electronics of a wide range of portable and Internet-enabled sensing devices for environmental, food, agriculture, biomedical and quality control applications. The Spark-DET-VIS requires custom electronics and complete integration, with expert support from Ocean Optics’ OEM engineering team. A USB version is available for initial application development.

The Spark-DET-VIS is the first Ocean Optics spectral device to replace traditional diffraction gratings with a solid-state optical encoder. The resulting unit size and cost are comparable to that of a less robust RGB filter diode detector, but with the ability to take full spectral measurements.

Spark has remarkable performance for a spectral sensor of its kind. Its aperture design optimizes light throughput. Robust optoelectronics ensure thermal stability over a -10° – 60° C operating range, for accurate analysis even in harsh environments. Unlike comparable devices, Spark delivers optical resolution of 4.5-9.0 nm (FWHM), making it viable for a wide range of applications.

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Science and Creativity Come Together with Spectroscopy and Pyrotechnics

Ocean Optics’ spectrometer assures special effects color purity and safety for Le Maitre
Dunedin, Florida, USA (July 31, 2015) – Spectrometers from Ocean Optics are being used by Le Maitre Ltd (Surrey, England) to ensure the quality and safety of its close proximity pyrotechnics. Ocean Optics spectrometers measure plasma emission and emissive color of effects used in theater productions, concerts, and sporting events. The measurements help Le Maitre ensure these explosive displays are consistently amazing, and most important, safe.

Pyrotechnic spectrometer

Le Maitre Pyrotechnics Developer Hamish Cavaye, Ph.D., runs pyrotechnic tests with an Ocean Optics spectrometer.

Le Maitre Pyrotechnics Developer Hamish Cavaye, Ph.D., runs live product tests in a silo in rural England. His challenge is to objectively verify that effects are producing the desired colors. As was recently proven with the pop culture “What color is the dress?” phenomenon, the human eye is easily fooled. Using a spectrometer to verify color purity, Cavaye looks for particular emission bands indicative of a specific chemical composition.

Measuring the emissive color of pyrotechnics with a spectrometer also has the ability to signal safety issues. If the spectra identify elements that are not expected, it may indicate contamination. Verifying consistency not only ensures a pleasing color for the audience but helps assure the safety of patrons and performers.

Ocean Optics OceanView

Spectra of a live effect displayed in real-time.

Measurement speed is also important in testing pyrotechnics, as some effects can last less than a second. With integration times on some Ocean Optics spectrometers as low as 1 ms, Cavaye can easily capture multiple spectra for each effect. Along with needing the precision and accuracy typically required of spectrometer measurements, Le Maitre had the additional challenge of requiring an instrument that was portable and durable. Compact miniature spectrometers can easily be brought to the testing silo and are rugged enough to withstand close proximity to live effects as they are firing.

Ocean Optics recently visited Le Maitre to see its spectrometers and Le Maitre’s effects in action. Watch the explosive video here: http://youtu.be/Nw0bNfNUYuQ?a.

This isn’t the first time Ocean Optics’ spectrometers have felt the heat. They’ve also been used for studying muzzle flashes from rifles, rocket plume emissions, and applications involving flame analysis of metals and other materials.

About Le Maitre
Le Maitre Pyrotechnics and Special Effects has been designing and manufacturing stage pyrotechnics and fog, smoke and haze machines since 1977. Its pyrotechnics have been used globally in a very wide range of applications, including big name concert tours and national sporting events. The company designs and manufactures a range of professional stage effects products, as well as operating a European event services division. It is headquartered in Surrey, England, with additional facilities in Peterborough, England, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

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