Next Generation Miniature Spectrometer from Ocean Optics

Flame builds on 20 years of expertise from the producers of the first miniature spectrometer
Dunedin, Florida, USA (February 10, 2015) – Ocean Optics has launched a spectrometer line that combines decades of miniature spectrometer design expertise with industry-leading manufacturing techniques. The Flame spectrometer delivers high thermal stability and low unit to unit variation without compromising the flexibility and configurability that are the hallmark of modular, miniature spectrometers. Features such as interchangeable slits, indicator LEDs and simpler device connectors provide great flexibility for a wide range of UV-Vis applications including OEM integration and lab, industrial and field use.

Ocean Optics Flame

Ocean Optics Flame spectrometer line combines decades of miniature spectrometer design expertise with industry-leading manufacturing techniques.

The Flame is fully configurable across the 190-1100 nm wavelength range for use in absorbance, transmission, reflectance, irradiance and color applications. Spectrometers come preconfigured or custom configured, with interchangeable slits that enable users to adjust resolution and throughput on demand. For example, the user can reconfigure the same spectrometer from high resolution for absorbance to high throughput for fluorescence in seconds. To further increase measurement power, the Flame works seamlessly with Ocean Optics’ range of light sources, optical fibers, sampling accessories and software.

Optical bench improvements and high precision alignment methods elevate Flame performance for demanding applications in industrial and field environments. The Flame has thermal stability of 0.05 nm/°C from 200-850 nm and highly consistent unit-to-unit performance that meets the needs of OEMs and other high-volume customers. Its small footprint (89 x 63 x 34 mm) and low weight (265 g) make Flame ideal for OEM integration.

Flame operation is plug and play. A choice of USB or RS-232 communications, supported by drivers and software, make it easy to integrate into almost any system. Indicator LEDs show continuous power and data transfer status.

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Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Substrates from Ocean Optics

Gold nanoparticle SERS substrates amplify Raman effects
Dunedin, Florida, USA (September 26, 2014) – Ocean Optics has introduced a new substrate for Raman spectroscopy applications. Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) substrates are highly sensitive, stable and reliable, delivering precise trace-level Raman spectroscopy measurement in applications ranging from chemical and explosive agent detection, to authentication, contaminant screening and quality control in production environments and the laboratory.

SERS substrates

Ocean Optics’ new gold nanoparticle SERS substrates amplify Raman effects.

Using precisely controlled gold nanoparticles, Ocean Optics SERS substrates amplify very weak Raman signals by many orders of magnitude. The result is fast, repeatable SERS measurements for the identification and quantification of SERS-active analytes. Detection at the parts per billion and even parts per trillion level are possible.

Ocean Optics’ SERS substrate manufacturing method results in affordable mass production with high repeatability and customization options. Standard substrates are microscope slide format with a 5 mm diameter active area. Ocean Optics uses optical-grade borosilicate glass and high-performance silicone-based adhesive for compatibility with a wide range of solvents. Customized designs are available on demand with choice of form factor such as swabs and coatings, as well as the ability to impart specificity to particular analytes.

SERS substrates work reliably with the complete range of Ocean Optics Raman instruments, including the IDRaman mini handheld Raman spectrometer.

Ocean Optics is giving away free 3-packs of SERS substrates, while supplies last*. Samples can be requested at A limited number of samples will also be available at Ocean Optics’ booth, 46, at SciX (September 29 – October 1; Reno-Tahoe, Nev.).

*  promotion ends 10/03/2014

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New Development Kit for Spectral Sensing Applications from Ocean Optics

STS spectrometer, Raspberry Pi microcomputer and flexible software for out-of-the-box use
Dunedin, Florida, USA (July 29, 2014) – Ocean Optics has introduced a new set of spectral sensing tools for developers and others who want to deploy spectroscopy in new applications. The STS Developers Kit brings together its powerful STS spectrometer, a Raspberry Pi microcomputer, customizable software, and wireless capabilities in single package for integrating spectral sensing quickly and easily. Right out of the box, the kit can be quickly configured for a variety of scientific, process monitoring and environmental applications. Uses include developing handheld devices for light metrology or color measurement, creating cloud connected measurement clusters, and even mounting on UAVs for remote monitoring.

STS Development Kit

STS Development Kit combines spectrometer, Raspberry Pi microcomputer and flexible software for application flexibility and portability.

The STS Developer Kit takes advantage of the Raspberry Pi’s flexibility and adaptability to enable new uses for spectroscopy. Once connected to a WiFi network, the spectrometer can be controlled through phone, tablet, or computer web browser. The WiFi range is up to 150 m, and all data is securely stored to the onboard SD card. While it comes pre-loaded with this simple interface and is ready to use out of the box, the development platform makes it fast and easy to customize the kit to specific projects.

The web scripting API enables quick development of custom scripts and applications, allowing the STS and Raspberry Pi to perform even more complex tasks. Ocean Optics SeaBreeze drivers communicate directly to the spectrometer via USB interface. A Daemon Service software enables more autonomous functionality as well as coordination with other hardware such as switches or even controlling sampling accessories.

STS spectrometer, UAV

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

The core of the kit is Ocean Optics’ STS microspectrometer. At less than 42 mm square and 24 mm high, the STS delivers maximum power in a small footprint. Its optical design and advanced CMOS detector elevate the STS to performance levels comparable to larger and more expensive spectrometers. Excellent linearity, high dynamic range, and wavelength accuracy ensure reproducible and repeatable results. In addition, high thermal stability performance and low baseline drift ensure that data stays accurate, even under changing environmental conditions. The STS Developer Kit offers the choice of three STS models: STS-UV (190-650 nm), STS-Vis (350-800 nm) and STS-NIR (650-1100 nm).

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Ocean Optics Launches Maya LSL Spectrometer

New spectrometer delivers exceptional stray light performance with high sensitivity
Dunedin, Florida, USA (March 3, 2014) – Now available from Ocean Optics is the Maya LSL spectrometer, a combination of a back-thinned CCD array detector and low stray light optical design resulting in high-sensitivity, high-throughput performance for applications ranging from chemical catalysis to Raman analysis. With rapid response and excellent accuracy, the Maya LSL is ideal for demanding applications in the life sciences and process monitoring industries, especially for production applications where speed and precision can save time, improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Maya LSL

The Maya LSL spectrometer delivers exceptional stray light performance with high sensitivity.

In production applications such as color measurements for quality control, Maya LSL’s combination of speed, sensitivity and throughput help to reduce measurement errors and ensure accuracy. LED sorting, plasma monitoring and quality control all benefit from the superior color accuracy of the Maya LSL. Maya LSL’s capacity to make measurements in milliseconds is particularly useful for demanding production environments.

The Maya LSL takes advantage of two modular spectroscopy technologies. First, Maya LSL’s f/3 optical design includes a toroidal grating that corrects optical aberrations and dramatically improves stray light performance, extending the spectrometer’s measurement range up to 3.0 absorption units – a 30 percent advantage compared with competitive designs. With very low stray light performance of 0.015 percent at 400 nm, Maya LSL offers great value to users making quantitative measurements, particularly in QA/QC and routine laboratory environments.

Second, the Maya LSL has a back-thinned CCD detector that increases the sensitivity of the spectrometer and allows for faster, full-spectrum measurements. This is a significant advantage for monitoring rapid chemical reactions such as catalysis, combustion and protein folding.

The Maya LSL optimizes the unavoidable trade-offs among measurement time, dynamic range and signal-to-noise considerations, for process monitoring measurements. High thermal stability and an array of triggering and data communication options make the Maya LSL ideal for the process environment. Applications such as fluorescence and Raman that routinely monitor very low light levels will benefit from the sensitivity of the Maya LSL.

The Maya LSL interfaces to a computer via its USB port and couples to Ocean Optics accessories for convenient experiment setups. The spectrometer is available with a variety of slits, filters and other optical bench accessories for optimizing configurations.

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Ocean Optics Launches DH-mini Light Source

New light source delivers high intensity broadband light in a compact package
Dunedin, Florida, USA (March 3, 2014) – Now available from Ocean Optics is the DH-mini light source. This compact, high-intensity source for spectroscopy combines deuterium and tungsten halogen sources in a single optical path, producing stable output across the UV-VIS-NIR from 200-2500 nm. The versatility of the DH-mini is ideal for demanding applications in the quality control and life science industries, especially fiber probe-based measurements where light throughput is a challenge, and absorbance measurements of high optical density solutions.


The DH-mini high-intensity source for spectroscopy combines deuterium and tungsten halogen sources in a single optical path.

As one of the pioneers of combination UV-VIS-NIR sources for spectroscopy, Ocean Optics has refined the new DH-mini, making it significantly more powerful, stable and compact than previous generations of comparable light sources. The DH-mini has nearly 3.5x greater output than earlier combination deuterium-tungsten halogen sources, expanding its usefulness to include absorbance measurements over a wide wavelength range and facilitating the measurement of multiple different samples with a single light source.

In addition to producing high-intensity output, the DH-mini operates with great stability (0.2% peak to peak) and minimal drift (0.1%/hour after stabilization). This mitigates the need to disturb experiments for frequent reference-taking and helps to ensure that results are reliable. Galvanically isolated electronics help to eliminate electronic cross-talk that can interfere with operation.

The DH-mini’s small footprint – 75 mm x 82 mm x 175 mm (3.0” x 3.25” x 6.875”) and 0.5 kg (1.1 lb.) — helps to free up laboratory bench space and makes it easily adaptable for OEM devices. The DH-mini has great operational flexibility, allowing users to optimize configurations without having to switch among multiple sources or change sampling accessories. For example, each source bulb can be operated independently, with variable voltage controls for adjusting deuterium and tungsten halogen intensity. The built-in shutter allows users to make reference and dark measurements without disturbing the stability and thermal equilibrium of the lamp, a problem when a source is turned off or on. This saves time and increases the accuracy and precision of the measurement.

Users can operate the DH-mini bulbs and shutter manually via controls on the front panel or remotely via 15-pin TTL connection. Remote control via TTL connection simplifies integration and operation of the light source a when external triggering and other functions are required.

The DH-mini complements Ocean Optics’ range of modular spectroscopy solutions for a wide range of applications. By configuring the DH-mini with a wide-range spectrometer and appropriate accessories, users can create a multifunction spectroscopy system for UV, VIS or NIR measurements or for measurements where broad-range response is necessary.

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Ocean Optics Launches QE Pro Spectrometer

Spectrometer delivers market-best sensitivity and performance
Dunedin, Florida, USA (February 3, 2014) – The QE Pro from Ocean Optics is a high-sensitivity, back-thinned CCD array spectrometer with outstanding quantum efficiency, wide dynamic range and extremely low noise operation for applications with low light levels and where wide concentration ranges are measured.


The QE Pro from Ocean Optics is a high-sensitivity, back-thinned CCD array spectrometer.

The QE Pro‘s optical design maximizes performance for a range of application needs. With its 18-bit A/D, QE Pro has dynamic range performance that makes it the highest sensitivity miniature spectrometer available today. This is significant for users monitoring emission spectroscopy, especially fluorescence and Raman, where signals may be weak and minimum detectable sample limits are often challenging. In addition, for both absorption and reflectance in quality control applications, QE Pro provides lower limits of detection and enables measurements over a wider concentration range.

For kinetics researchers and scientists requiring fast, full spectrum acquisitions, the QE Pro provides onboard buffering capability. The 15,000 spectra onboard buffer maintains data integrity by buffering time-stamped spectra for USB communications. Buffering enables full-spectrum kinetics measurements, such as those used in chemical and enzyme kinetics or protein folding to be performed every 8 milliseconds — or 125 measurements per second.

Thermoelectric control of the detector improves the stability of the detector for lengthy measurements, where thermal noise convolutes the signal. TEC cooling dramatically reduces thermal noise and holds QE Pro’s stability to 4 dark counts over a 60 °C ambient temperature range. This stability allows the spectrometer to be used for demanding online and at-line quality control measurements and environments susceptible to temperature changes.

QE Pro spectrometers are also available with replaceable, precision laser-cut slit and aperture assemblies for SMA 905 and FC connectors. Replaceable slits give users more freedom in spectrometer design and the ability to switch among applications such as fluorescence and absorbance as easily as replacing a few screws. The slits are available with SMA 905 or FC connectors and are available separately or as part of a kit comprising one each of 5 µm, 10 µm, 25 µm, 50 µm, 100 µm and 200 µm width slits and one SMA bulkhead with no slit installed.

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Ocean Optics Launches STS-UV Microspectrometer

Instrument provides full spectral UV analysis in a tiny footprint
Dunedin, Florida, USA (November 22, 2013) – Designed for integration into spectroscopy instrumentation, medical devices, process monitoring and other applications where a small footprint is desired, the STS-UV Microspectrometer from Ocean Optics is a compact yet high-performance spectrometer. Measuring just 40 mm x 42 mm and 24 mm high, this product is optimized for applications in the ultraviolet (190-650 nm) including absorbance measurements, point of care diagnostics, emission spectroscopy and laser characterization. The STS-UV provides powerful performance for full spectral analysis enabling applications where a range of the spectrum is necessary for proper measurements.

STS-UV Microspectrometer

Ocean Optics STS-UV Microspectrometer

The high signal to noise and wide dynamic range make the STS-UV useful for demanding measurements such as determining the absorbance from dilute solutions. A selection of configurations allows users to optimize optical resolution to a specific application.

Previously released versions of the STS are also available for the visible (350-800 nm) and shortwave near-IR (650-1100 nm) regions of the spectrum. All versions feature the same form factor and comparable performance specifications.

The STS-UV is anchored by a 1024-element detector in a crossed Czerny Turner optical bench. Its optical design and advanced CMOS detector elevate STS to performance levels comparable to larger and more expensive spectrometers. For example, excellent linearity, absorbance repeatability and wavelength accuracy ensure reproducibility even in large production quantities. In addition, high thermal stability performance and low baseline drift ensure that data stays accurate, even under changing environmental conditions.

The STS-UV easily integrates into other devices or can be set up next to a process line for quality control measurements or as part of a lab station. Several software control options, from drivers for LabVIEW and MATLAB to DLLs for direct control of the spectrometer in Java, Linux or Windows, allow users to seamlessly integrate STS. For laboratory experiments, all STS spectrometers are compatible with Ocean Optics’ OceanView spectroscopy software.


Ocean Optics Introduces Integrated Raman Spectrometer

IDRaman reader uses optical focusing method to overcome Raman sampling challenges
Dunedin, Fla. (October 16, 2013) – The IDRaman reader from Ocean Optics is a fully integrated Raman system with Raster Orbital Scanning (ROS) technology, an innovative sampling technique that enables more efficient Raman signal collection with lower background effects.

IDRaman reader

Ocean Optics IDRaman reader.

ROS overcomes sampling hurdles associated with dispersive-design Raman devices by maintaining high resolution and minimizing the power buildup of a tightly focused laser typical in Raman applications. As a result, users can exploit a larger sample interrogation area for more precise identification of delicate samples such as surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) substrates, and use lower laser power to avoid issues associated with delicate or unstable samples such as explosives.

The new instrument debuted September 29, 2013 at SciX 2013, an industry event that covers analytical chemistry, with an emphasis on emerging technologies. SciX, which was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, attracts a mix of scientific and engineering experts from around the world.

The IDRaman reader is available with 638 nm, 785 nm or 808 nm laser excitation and comes in two resolution options. A high-resolution 4 wavenumber version covers the Raman spectrum from 200-2000 wavenumbers and is a good option for extracting detailed spectral information near the laser line. For broader spectrum coverage, an 8 wavenumber version covers 200-3200 wavenumbers and is especially useful for wide-range samples such as ethylene, acetylene and other aliphatic hydrocarbons (non-aromatic compounds).

The IDRaman reader has a convenient sampling setup for measuring surfaces below the instrument, for measuring solutions in cuvettes, and for measuring other samples from the top, sides or bottom of vials.

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Ocean Optics Introduces Raman Microscope

IDRaman micro optimizes Raman microscopy data collection
Dunedin, Fla. (October 1, 2013) – Now available from Ocean Optics is the IDRaman micro, a compact microscope designed for Raman measurements in research, quality control and quality assurance environments. The IDRaman micro is a versatile, high-performance analytical tool for applications where sampling requires careful focus and high spatial resolution to optimize the Raman signal.

IDRaman micro

IDRaman micro from Ocean Optics optimizes Raman microscopy data collection.

The new instrument debuted September 29, 2013 at SciX 2013, an industry event that covers analytical chemistry, with an emphasis on emerging technologies. SciX, which was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, attracts a mix of scientific and engineering experts from around the world.

The IDRaman micro uses a novel focusing technique to make sampling more accurate and easier to perform than with systems based on traditional inverted microscopes and those that rely on fiber optic coupling. IDRaman micro’s OneFocus feature optimizes the instrument for Raman sampling using the same focal plane for collecting images and Raman signals. The ability to focus for optimal Raman sampling while viewing a quality image of the sample simplifies the often tedious and inexact process of acquiring data from a specific structure or location on a sample. OneFocus also enhances data collection for applications where only a single layer of material is applied to the surface, such as graphene or surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS).

The IDRaman micro is available with either a 532 nm or a 785 nm laser for excitation and offers the option for a high-resolution detector with 4 wavenumber resolution acquiring data from 200-2000 wavenumbers, or a wide-range system with 8 wavenumber resolution acquiring data from 200-3200 wavenumbers. Its 3-megapixel imager collects crisp images using epi-illumination techniques and its interchangeable objectives allow users to adjust spot size and optical magnification.

Compared with traditional Raman microscopy setups, IDRaman micro has a compact footprint at just 4” x 14” x 11” (36 cm x 10 cm x 28 cm) and weighs 12 lb. (5.4 kg). Its flexible design makes it possible to measure samples in cuvettes and from the bottom or sides of vials. Switching between microscopy and bulk samples is as simple as pulling a lever.

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Replaceable Slit Spectrometers Offer Applications Versatility

Field-replaceable slits add flexibility to Ocean Optics spectrometers
Dunedin, FL (August 9, 2013) – Precision laser-cut slit and aperture assemblies from Ocean Optics add flexibility to the company’s QE65 Pro, Jaz, and Torus miniature spectrometers. Replaceable slits give users more freedom in spectrometer design and the ability to switch easily from one application to another with the replacement of a few screws.

Ocean Optics QE65 pro

Ocean Optics QE65 pro miniature spectrometer with replaceable slit.

Modular spectroscopy makes possible thousands of applications by mixing and matching optical bench and other components in various configurations. The availability of field-replaceable slits in the Jaz, Torus and QE65 Pro spectrometers adds another layer of customer flexibility.

Spectroscopy is a technique in which the design criteria exist as a set of trade-offs. The optimal spectrometer depends upon the application. For some users, one of the most vexing trade-offs involves the choice of entrance aperture (slit). A larger slit increases throughput, but at the expense of optical resolution. A smaller slit yields higher optical resolution, but decreases throughput. Typically, changing the slit requires spectrometer rework that has to be performed at the manufacturer’s facility.

With replaceable slits, users can change the spectrometer’s performance directly in the field. Changing slits can be accomplished within minutes, without the need for realignment. For example, QE65 Pro users who need great sensitivity for low light applications such as fluorescence can change slits from a larger slit size to a small one, avoiding saturation in absorbance applications. Or a Torus configured to resolve closely aligned emission peaks for one application can be adjusted make low light level measurements for another application.

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