New Science Curriculum from Ocean Optics

Spectroscopy 101 brings photonics to life in the classroom
Dunedin, FL (September 12, 2013) – Ocean Optics  has launched a new version of its Spectroscopy 101 curriculum for high school and college teaching laboratories. Written for use with the company’s Red Tide and ChemUSB spectrophotometers, Spectroscopy 101 has been updated for its new OceanView software. Contents include an introduction to spectroscopy, key spectroscopy concepts and detailed instructions for conducting a range of engaging experiments with students.

Spectroscopy 101 Curricula

Spectroscopy 101 Curricula

Spectroscopy techniques help students achieve a better understanding of what happens at the atomic and molecular level when samples interact with light. By observing these interactions, students can identify different wavelengths within the photonic spectrum and quantify the amount of light being absorbed, reflected, scattered or emitted. The updated experiments include a comprehensive introduction, detailed procedures and questions to measure understanding and retention.

The Spectroscopy 101 curriculum shows the power of spectroscopy through seven exciting experiments:

  • Identification of commercial food dyes in beverages
  • Absorbance measurement of chlorophyll extracted from spinach leaves
  • Spectrophotometric characterization of spice extracts
  • Kinetics of crystal violet bleaching
  • Emission measurements of light sources
  • Spectrophotometric analysis of commercial aspirin

Each is designed to teach students that atoms and molecules interact with light to provide detailed information on their structure and composition.

Compact Ocean Optics’ Red Tide and ChemUSB spectrophotometers are excellent instruments for teaching labs, providing reliable, high performance at an affordable price. The new OceanView software is a perfect complement, with persistence of user settings, the ability to save and reload experiments and unprecedented customizability for teachers to adapt the curriculum to their classrooms.

Ocean Optics is running a special promotion with its “Education Across the Nations” back-to-school bundles on the updated Spectroscopy 101 curricula through September 27, 2013. The ChemUSB Spectrometer System bundle includes a free laptop, updated curricula, plastic cuvettes and OceanView software at a savings of over $900. The Red Tide spectrometer bundle includes updated curricula, plastic cuvettes and OceanView software and saves $200 dollars or more.

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Ocean Optics Spectrometers Enable Field Application

STS spectrometers measure vegetation from the ground and the air
Dunedin, Fla., USA (July 2, 2013) – A pair of super-lightweight miniature spectrometers from Ocean Optics is helping researchers investigate plant parameters in a verdant patch of New Zealand grassland. The compact STS model spectrometers, one deployed as a ground unit and the other aboard an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), are making synchronized hyperspectral measurements of barley and sugar beet crops to assess plant characteristics for more effective crop management.

STS spectrometer, UAV

Ocean Optics STS spectrometer collects plant data from an unmanned aerial vehicle.

A multinational team of researchers from Germany, Italy, Spain and New Zealand developed the UAV-based system and conducted the initial experiments, gathering high-resolution reflectance spectra from the UAV at altitudes of up to 200 meters and irradiance spectra from the ground-based spectrometer. According to team leader Andreas Burkart of the Research Center Jülich IBG-2 Plant Sciences, Germany, collection of hyperspectral data by field spectroscopy is a time-consuming task and often is restricted to easily accessible areas.

The small size and weight of the STS spectrometer is ideal for use on the UAV, which allows a series of fast and reproducible measurements over any terrain, even forest or marsh. By measuring various segments across a section of the New Zealand pastureland, the system was able to assess information such as specific plots that contained live vegetation.

The STS is a remarkably small CMOS detector-based spectrometer that is less than 2 inches square (40 mm x 42 mm) and weighs a little over 2 ounces (68 g). It performs comparably to larger systems, providing full spectral analysis with low stray light, high signal to noise (>1500:1) and excellent optical resolution. For the application described here, the researchers were able to match the performance of the STS to that of a larger, more expensive commercially available field portable spectrometer, with optical resolution of ~2.5 nm (FWHM).

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Ocean Optics Goes Mobile

Spectroscopy leader releases its first iOS mobile application
Dunedin, Florida (June 16, 2013) – Ocean Optics has released a mobile application for iOS devices to the Apple App Store. The free application allows users of Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch and iPad to access helpful spectroscopy calculators, browse application support materials and access the latest technical product information on Ocean Optics spectrometers, sensors, light sources, and fiber optic capabilities.

Ocean Optics

Ocean Optics new mobile app.

“Mobile devices have become such an integral part of our everyday life that having access to Ocean Optics product information in a mobile format is as logical as having a website or a catalog,” said Michael Allen, Ocean Optics Director of Marketing & Product Development. “Ultimately, our goal is to provide customers with useful application, spectroscopy and product information in the format they want, whenever and wherever they need it.”

The Ocean Optics mobile application is available by searching “Ocean Optics” in the App Store. It is compatible with Apple iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices running the iOS 6.0 or later operating system.

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Ocean Optics Awards Blue Ocean Grants

Open innovation program rewards outstanding technology contributions
Dunedin, Florida (April 12, 2013) – Ocean Optics has announced the winners of this year’s Phase I Blue Ocean Grants ( The open innovation program seeks novel ideas and technologies with the potential to change the world for the better and lead to eventual market commercialization. In its second year, the program has grown increasingly competitive with exceptional applications received from all over the world.


The Blue Ocean Grants are divided into two phases. Phase I grants are issued to fund initial evaluation and development of ideas and technologies to the proof-of-concept phase. These $10,000 awards help applicants design and develop new photonics technologies and applications. Phase II grants will be issued to nurture a proposed technology through proof-of-concept in a way that enables the potential of market commercialization. Phase II awards are much larger – up to $100,000 USD – and will be announced later this year.

This year’s Phase I winners are:
Anthony M. Filippi, Ph.D., and Burak Güneralp, Ph.D., from the Department of Geography, Texas A&M University; College Station, Texas, and Lee Tarpley, Ph.D., from the Texas AgriLife Research & Extension Center; Beaumont, Texas, for their proposal entitled “Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function Effect on Arsenic and Water-Stress Detection in Rice”

Dr. Damian Gardiner and Dr. Philip Hands from the Centre of Molecular Materials for Photonics and Electronics (CMMPE) at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom for their proposal entitled “Printable Laser Sources for Anti-Counterfeiting Applications”

Dr. Zheng Peichao, from the College of Optoelectronic Engineering, Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Chongqing, China for the proposal entitled “Low-Cost On-line Spectra Measurement Device for Metal Ions in Water”

Recipients were chosen by Ocean Optics and an independent panel of photonics industry experts based on potential to change the world for the better, out of the box thinking, technical merit and potential commercial viability.

“The quality of this year’s entries was exceptional and the interest in this program has continued to grow each year,” said David Creasey, Ocean Optics Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “The high quality of the applications made the selection process very competitive. The winners demonstrate the power of open innovation and drive to change the world through diverse application pathways. We’re excited and honored to help facilitate development at both the Phase I and Phase II levels of funding.”

For more information on the program, including full abstracts on the award-winning ideas, visit

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Ocean Optics Unveils Novel Trade Show Display

In-line gumball sorter demonstrates remarkable range of optical sensing techniques
Dunedin, Fla. (March 19, 2013) – Ocean Optics recently unveiled what has been hailed as a clever and original trade show display – a fully functional, in-line gumball sorting machine. Debuted in February at the 2013 SPIE Photonics West Conference and Exhibition, a prestigious photonics industry event that drew 20,000 attendees to the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, the exhibit proved a hit. The same display will be featured at the PITTCON Conference & Expo from March 18-21, in Philadelphia, Pa., and LASER World of PHOTONICS in Munich, Germany, May 13-16.

Spectroscopy work station

Ocean Optics’ new trade show display demonstrates the versatility of spectroscopy with gumballs.

Despite its fanciful look, the Ocean Optics gumball sorter is a sophisticated optical measurement system comprising nearly a dozen spectroscopy measurement stations positioned throughout an 8-foot-tall, 6-sided structure. A series of stainless steel rails mounted to the structure delivers the gumball samples to each station, where spectrometer setups determine gumball sample characteristics such as chemical composition, color and reflectivity. Additional stations throughout the 900-square-foot booth measure absorbance and fluorescence of food coloring and flavorants, transmission characteristics of plastic containers and oxygen content in packaging. In all, nearly a dozen measurements using techniques as varied as Raman analysis, fluorescence, UV-Vis absorption and NIR spectroscopy are represented.

Each station in the gumball sorter acts as an independent analyzer: a measurement is made and the result registers the response in software, which then triggers a second device – a motorized gate – to direct the sample to the next measurement or a sorting bin. By the end of the three-day Photonics West show, more than 5,000 gumballs had been measured and sorted using spectroscopy technologies.

Ocean Optics has a long history of trade show displays distinguished by engaging presentations, live experiments and relevance to the photonics industry. And while a gumball sorter is whimsical, the science it demonstrates is serious: Every Ocean Optics instrument in the display and each technique it demonstrates can today be implemented into a process stream, used in a lab or field setting or incorporated into another sensing device.

Read the detailed Application Note.

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Ocean Optics Names Winner of 2013 Young Investigator Award

Cash prize and grant awarded during SPIE BiOS/Photonics West 2013 conference
Dunedin, Fla. (February 12, 2013) – Ocean Optics, the industry leader in miniature photonics, has named Christian F. Gainer of the University of Arizona as winner of the 2013 Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award.

The Young Investigator Award is presented to a researcher who has completed his or graduate work in the last five years and is the primary author of the best juried paper submitted as part of the “Colloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications V” session of the 2013 BiOS/Photonics West conference. The honor includes a $1,000 investigator reward and a company grant to the investigator’s advisor.

Gainer was honored for his work with his advisor, Marek Romanowski, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Arizona, presented in the paper “Multiphoton imaging of three-dimensional cancer models using upconverting lanthanide nanoparticles.” Their work describes the use of multiphoton scanning microscopy for three-dimensional modeling of colon and ovarian cancer.

Ocean Optics has sponsored the Young Investigator Award since 2008, part of a long tradition of supporting young scientists and educators from around the world. “We are energized and inspired by the efforts and discoveries of researchers early in their careers,” said Michael Allen, Ocean Optics Director, Marketing and Product Development. “Our support for these young men and women underscores our commitment to the vision of changing the world for the better through optical sensing.”

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Ocean Optics Brings in Throckmorton to Lead Global Engineering

Jeff Throckmorton, Ph.D. appointed of Vice President Engineering
Dunedin, FL (February 4, 2013) – Ocean Optics has appointed Jeff Throckmorton, Ph.D., Vice President of Engineering to lead the development of its line of end-user and OEM optical sensing products.

Jeff Throckmorton, Ph.D., Vice President of Engineering, Ocean Optics

Jeff Throckmorton, Ph.D., Vice President of Engineering, Ocean Optics

With offices in the US, Europe and Asia, Throckmorton will have responsibility for the company’s global engineering resources. His goal is to increase and enhance Ocean Optics current line of spectrometers, chemical sensors, analytical instrumentation, and accessories through both internal engineering and open innovation initiatives. He and his team will work closely with customers to solve measurement challenges not met by current products. Additionally, Throckmorton will be a member of the Ocean Optics’ board of directors, helping to shape company strategy.

Throckmorton comes to Ocean Optics from technology solutions provider Eltron Research & Development Company (Boulder, Colo.), where he served as Vice President of Technology. He has previously held multiple positions with subsidiaries of Danaher Corporation (Washington, D.C.) including Vice President Global Innovation for Hach-Lange, Vice President of Research & Development for Hach, and President of Hach Homeland Security Technologies. Earlier in his career held positions with HF Scientific, Inc. and BTG Process Control Sensors, Inc.

Throckmorton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.). He also holds Masters in Chemical Engineering and Doctorate in Engineering degrees from University of South Florida (Tampa, Fla.).

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Ocean Optics Earns OFweek’s 2012 Best LED Service Supplier Award in China

Dunedin, FL (December 4, 2012) – Ocean Optics has recently been recognized with an “OFweek 2012 Best LED Service Supplier Award” by China’s high technology portal OFweek photonics news (

Since its entry into the Chinese market, Ocean Optics has contributed to the growth of China’s LED industry. The inventor of the world’s first miniature spectrometer provides photometry and colorimetry solutions to the complete LED manufacturing chain. Established in 2007, Ocean Optics Asia supports the company’s distributors and customers in the Pacific Rim with a team of application, sales and software engineers.

Ocean Optics was chosen for the OFweek honor from a pool of 200 nominated companies selected by the editors of OFweek. A total of 38 companies were recognized with awards in 10 categories, chosen by a panel of LED experts as well as online voting by LED professionals. Winners were announced during the 9th LED Pioneering Technology & Marketing Seminar at the 2012 Best LED Enterprises & Products Award Ceremony organized by OFweek photonics news.

Dr. Sun Ling, Vice President of Ocean Optics Asia said, “We feel so proud to be conferred the Best LED Service Supplier Award by OFweek. This honor encourages our expert team to strive towards ever-higher standards and deliver even better services to our customers in China and Asia Pacific.”

“China’s LED industry has enjoyed fast growth with ever higher demand for testing speed and diversity. This makes it imperative for us to work more closely with system integrators and end users,” Dr. Sun added.

Ocean Optics’ solutions for quantifying light meet a number of parameter measurement and quality monitoring challenges on factory production lines. Its products cover the complete LED manufacturing chain – from epitaxial wafer and wafer material probing, to chip sorting, to the testing of finished LEDs – accurately and efficiently measuring and controlling wavelength, thinness, reflectance, transmittance, color temperature, and color purity.

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Ocean Optics Expands Indian Operations with India Sales Manager

Dunedin, Fla. (October 9, 2012) – Ocean Optics has appointed Hemchandra Sane its new Sales Manager in India.

Hemchandra Sane, India Sales Manager, Ocean Optics.

Hemchandra Sane, India Sales Manager, Ocean Optics.

Based in Mumbai Sane will expand Ocean Optics’ current sales network to further improve local service and support for customers in India. He will help and guide both customers and distributors in introducing Ocean Optics equipment and provide support with installation and training. Ocean Optics’ product range includes miniature spectrometers, light sources and accessories used in universities, R&D labs and industrial online process applications.

A seasoned sales executive, Sane has two decades’ experience working for various Indian and British companies selling engineering products into India. He joins Ocean Optics from Grainger India, where he worked with various large industrial companies. Prior to that, he was the Sales Manager for RS Components and Controls India. Sane has a BE in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Marketing Management, both from Mumbai University.

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Ocean Optics Appoints New President

Richard Pollard promoted at Dunedin-based photonics manufacturer
Dunedin, FL (October 1, 2012) – Ocean Optics, has appointed Richard Pollard to the position of company President. Pollard’s promotion follows the move of former President Kevin Chittim to positions on Ocean Optics’ board and as Divisional Acquisition Executive for Ocean Optics’ parent company, Halma plc.

Richard Pollard, President of Ocean Optics.

Richard Pollard, President of Ocean Optics.

Pollard joined Ocean Optics in 2006 as Vice President, Operations, and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2008, applying his international engineering and management skills to lead global sales activities and new product introductions. His career has spanned a wide range of industries including electronics (Viasystems Tyneside Ltd., Tyne & Wear, UK), automotive (Ford Motor Company, Essex, UK), and medical products (Keeler Ltd, Berkshire, UK). He joined Ocean Optics from sister Halma group company, Radcom Technologies (Hampshire, UK). A professional Chartered Engineer, Pollard holds an MBA from Open University (Buckinghamshire, UK) and a BEng degree from Brunel University (Middlesex, UK).

Prior to his tenure at Ocean Optics, Chittim served as Chief Executive Officer at sister Halma company, Labsphere, leading the company through a period of explosive growth. Before joining Labsphere in 2007, he held executive positions at Radiant Imaging, Melles Griot, Newport and Spectra Physics.

“Halma looks towards growth in all of our business and especially in Photonics,” commented Robert Randelman, Divisional Chief Executive of Halma’s photonics businesses. “Kevin’s broad market experience will be invaluable in our continued search and selection of the right acquisition targets. Richard’s tenure with Ocean Optics, and experience in other industries make him a perfect choice to carry on the Ocean Optics heritage of innovation and customer focus while bringing new energy to its future growth.”

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