Ocean FX Spectrometer Delivers High Acquisition Speed for Light Measurement

Characterize frequency, amplitude and chromatic variation of lighting
Largo, Florida, USA (October 24, 2017) – The Ocean FX miniature spectrometer from Ocean Optics offers high-sensitivity CMOS detector performance, acquisition speed of up to 4,500 scans per second, and integration times as low as 10 µs. With flexible features to manage saturation intensity, it is ideal for high-intensity LED and light source measurement, laser characterization, spectral analysis of rapid events, and plasma monitoring.

Ocean FX Ocean Optics

The Ocean FX spectrometer characterizes frequency, amplitude and chromatic variation of lighting.

Depending on the performance of the operating system to which it is connected, Ocean FX can acquire up to 4500 scans per second. This speed allows users to collect more spectral information over shorter periods of time, contributing to better results. The high speed is also useful to capture rapidly occurring modulation of light output, such as flicker in LEDs and other sources (see Ocean Optics Application Note: https://oceanoptics.com/ocean-fx-high-speed-applications-in-home-lighting/). The powerful onboard processor holds up to 50,000 spectra in its memory and can perform averaging of up to 5,000 spectra, significantly speeding transfer times and reducing bandwidth requirements.

Ocean FX is anchored by a high sensitivity CMOS detector that is responsive from 200-1100 nm. To account for varying light intensity, its adjustable integration time ranges from 10 seconds down to 10 µs. This ability to integrate over much briefer periods – microseconds instead of milliseconds – avoids saturating the detector in even extremely high-intensity applications. Ocean FX’s interchangeable slits give users the ability to further adjust for differences in light source intensity.

Users can operate the Ocean FX via Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB and now SPI communication protocols. The addition gives OEM users greater design flexibility, eliminating the need for cables or additional circuitry to convert signals. Ocean FX is available in versions optimized for the UV-Vis (200-850 nm), Vis-NIR (350-1000 nm) and extended (200-1025 nm) wavelength ranges. Enhanced-sensitivity, and custom and OEM configurations are also available.

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New STEM Education Packs from Ocean Optics

Cost-effective spectral sensing kits bring the excitement of spectroscopy to the classroom
Dunedin, Florida, USA (May 24, 2017) – To inspire today’s tech savvy students, Ocean Optics has released two new Education Packs, built around its STS microspectrometer and Spark spectral sensor. 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.

Ocean Optics Education Kits

Ocean Optics STS-VIS (main) and Spark (inset) modular spectroscopy education kits.

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% off the retail cost of the components if purchased separately.

The EDU-STS-VIS-PACK covers the wavelengths of 350-800 nm while the EDU-SPARK-PACK provides measurement over the range of 380-700 nm. Both are capable of multiple types of spectral measurements demonstrating several different spectroscopy concepts, including:

  • Absorbance: Beer’s Law
  • Emission: Atomic emission
  • Fluorescence: Excited state molecules
  • pH: Henderson Hasselbalch
  • Transmission: Color measurement

To support educators in using the kits, Ocean Optics has established an educational resource page at https://oceanoptics.com/educational-resources. The page contains experiments and teaching materials to help educators get started, and is expected to grow as members of the user community share their own experiments and materials. The range of experiments are geared from high school, to community college, and up to university level.

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Ocean FX Spectrometer Provides High Acquisition Speed

Newest spectrometer from Ocean Optics offers Ethernet operation, speed, sensitivity and spectral buffering
Dunedin, Florida, USA (March 7, 2017) – The latest miniature spectrometer from Ocean Optics offers high-sensitivity CMOS detector performance, acquisition speed up to 3,000 scans per second, and onboard spectral buffering to ensure data integrity during reaction monitoring. The Ocean FX spectrometer is ideal for high-speed sorting and grading in production environments, measurement of transient events, and reaction kinetics monitoring for drug development and similar applications.

Ocean Optics FX

Ocean FX is anchored by a high sensitivity CMOS detector with good response in the UV; is available with interchangeable slits; and captures up to 3,000 spectral scans per second, depending on the performance of the operating system to which it is connected. Its onboard buffer holds up to 50,000 spectra so users don’t miss a single data point during kinetics measurements. Also, Ocean FX allows users to operate the spectrometer via Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi and USB.

Ocean FX is available in versions optimized for the UV-Vis (200-850 nm), Vis-NIR (350-1000 nm) and extended (200-1025 nm) wavelength ranges. Enhanced-sensitivity, and custom and OEM configurations are also available.

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The Buzz About NanoSponge SERS and Trace Level Detection

How sensitive spectroscopy tools can help identify substances linked to honeybee population decline
Dunedin, Florida, USA (December 16, 2016) – Ocean Optics enables highly sensitive, trace-level Raman spectroscopy measurements with its RAM-SERS-SP Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy substrates. The company recently demonstrated the power of the substrates’ proprietary gold-silver nanosponge alloy with a real world example related to the honeybee die-off problem. By comparing the ability of new gold-silver substrates to traditional substrates to detect imidacloprid, an insecticide suspected to be dangerous to bee colonies, Ocean Optics scientists were able to demonstrate the enhanced sensitivity that RAM-SERS-SP substrates bring to Raman measurements.

Ocean Optics.

Ocean Optics’ gold-silver nanosponge SERS substrates have the sensitivity to detect imidacloprid concentrations as low as 4 pg.

SERS substrates amplify very weak Raman signals by many orders of magnitude, with measurements of SERS-active analytes possible at even 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. When used with 638 nm Raman excitation, the nanosponge substrates are enhanced to an even higher level of sensitivity.

Recent high rates of honeybee loss have been investigated by government regulators and other researchers. According to ongoing U.S. EPA studies, the insecticide imidacloprid has been identified as a threat to commercial honeybee colonies, citing traces at concentration levels greater than 25 ppb as likely harmful to honeybees.

To test the effectiveness of Ocean Optics substrates in detecting imidacloprid at these harmful trace levels, Ocean Optics scientists set up a lab experiment using the company’s gold nanoparticle and gold-silver nanosponge SERS substrates. They made a series of measurements using the gold nanoparticle substrates, in a setup with 785 nm Raman laser excitation; and a series of measurements using the gold-silver nanosponge substrates, in a setup with 638 nm Raman excitation.

In the testing, the gold-silver nanosponge SERS substrates delivered the best results, able to detect imidacloprid concentrations as low as 4 pg (0.4 ppb; well within the 25 ppb concentration rate cited by the US EPA as harmful to bees). Their high sensitivity and low background noise made it easier to discern Raman peaks at these very low concentration levels.

Raman is a useful technique for fast, non-destructive analysis, with the enhanced sensitivity provided by SERS substrates allowing detection of trace levels of samples such as insecticides. Affordable and easy to use, the Ocean Optics SERS substrates are well suited to deployment in the lab or field. To read the full Honeybee Insecticide Detection application note, visit http://oceanoptics.com/sers-pesticide-detection-honeybee/.

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Ocean Optics Diffuse Reflectance Probe Provides Measurement Consistency

DR-Probe removes localized variance
Dunedin, Florida, USA (November 29, 2016) – The Ocean Optics Diffuse Reflectance Probe (DR-Probe) measures 45° diffuse reflectance, enhancing UV-Vis and NIR spectroscopy results. This sampling tool removes localized variance in reflectance measurements. It is ideal for applications such as color analysis, material identification and quality monitoring of foods.

Ocean Optices DR-Probe

Diffuse Reflectance Probe

The DR-Probe integrates a light source and collection optics into one unit to measure 45° diffuse reflectance. With the probe’s collection optics fixed in place relative to the light source, the measurement geometry is constant. An included standoff accessory ensures a consistent 40 mm focal length between the probe and the sample. Sampling uniformity increases the reliability and consistency of measurement results.

The DR-Probe has rugged, all-metal construction for durability in the lab or field. Its 6W tungsten halogen bulb has a 10,000-hour lifetime. Compatible with Ocean Optics Visible and NIR spectrometers and accessories, the DR-Probe integrates seamlessly into experimental setups.

 

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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 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.

NIRQuest

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

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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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

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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