Dynamic Sampling Accessories Provide Measurement Consistency

Ocean Optics spectroscopy tools ideally suited to inhomogeneous samples
Ocean Optics has introduced a line of spectroscopy accessories that makes dynamic sampling measurements simple and reliable for both solid and liquid samples. Dynamic sampling is a technique where rotational or linear motion is used to measure an “average” signal across the sample, removing localized variance from results and improving measurements of inhomogeneous and irregular samples such as grains, feed and soil.

Ocean Optics Dynamic Sampling

Ocean Optics spectroscopy accessories make dynamic sampling measurements simple and reliable for both solid and liquid samples.

Ocean Optics offers four dynamic sampling accessories – a diffuse reflectance probe, rotating sampling cup, multiplexer and flow cell – that fit seamlessly with existing UV-Vis and NIR spectrometers and accessories, resulting in a system optimized for the user’s application. Dynamic sampling accessories are ideal for users who take routine measurements of the same sample types or need to measure a large number of different samples frequently.

The Diffuse Reflectance Probe (DR Probe) integrates a light source and collection optics into one unit to measure 45° diffuse reflectance. It is ideal for applications such as color analysis, material identification and quality monitoring of foods. The DR Probe has rugged, all-metal construction with 40 mm focal length and an integrated, 10,000-hour bulb for extended time between servicing.

Also available for diffuse reflectance measurements is the DynaCup, a rotating device that presents samples to the DR Probe. The rotation allows the probe to scan the sample multiple times to collect a more consistent, representative spectrum of the sample. This method is important with inhomogeneous samples like grains, where variables such as shape, moisture and starch distribution within kernels can vary greatly.

To save sample measurement time and streamline sample processing, the multiplexer accessory is a mechanical actuator that distributes light through 10 customizable channels from a single light source. The multiplexer is useful for any kind of light transmission and optical fiber size. Two models offer a choice between fast positioning, or high repeatability and accuracy of performance. The multiplexer features SMA 905 connections and a USB port for communication and remote control.

For flow applications users can select the DynaFlux, an integrated transmission and absorbance flow cell. DynaFlux accepts standard transmission cells with pathlengths up to 10 mm (sold separately) and a temperature controlled sampling chamber. A programmable timer allows the flow cell pump to run for fixed times with options for continuous flow to analyze large volumes, or stop-flow mode to analyze static samples. DynaFlux is an all-in-one accessory for dynamic sampling of liquids, for both NIR and UV-Vis transmissive measurements.

Comments (0) »

Ocean Optics Appoints Vice President Technology

Steven Frey to lead the development of new optical measurement technologies
Dunedin, Florida, USA (May 15, 2015) –Spectroscopy applications knowledge leader Ocean Optics has appointed Steven Frey to the position of Vice President of Technology.

Ocean Optics Frey

Ocean Optics Appoints Vice President Technology, Steven Frey

In his new role, Frey will drive the development of technologies for next generation applications of miniature spectroscopy. He will lead the company’s team of design and applications engineers in developing new products to meet global environmental, healthcare and resources challenges, promoting the power of spectroscopy to protect and improve the quality of life. He will also work with external partners in research to explore how new technologies can be developed into industrial solutions.

Frey joins Ocean Optics from FAZ Technology (Orlando, Fla.), where he was Senior Vice President of Product Development and Delivery. At FAZ, he directed a team focused on the development of unique sensing capabilities applying Fiber Bragg Gratings to spectroscopy, and other novel techniques.

Frey spent the early part of his career at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, where during his 27 year tenure he held multiple roles including Director, Applied Research and Laser Directed Energy, and Section Manager of Systems Engineering. He earned a Master of Science degree in Physics at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, Mo.) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics from Bradley University (Peoria, Ill.).

Comments (0) »

Ocean Optics Appoints Vice President Finance

Tony Keller joins Ocean Optics with board responsibility
Dunedin, Florida, USA (May 13, 2015) – Spectroscopy applications knowledge leader Ocean Optics has appointed Tony Keller to the position of Vice President of Finance.

Ocean Optics

Tony Keller, Ocean Optics Vice President of Finance

In his new role, Keller will be responsible for all aspects of finance, accounting, IT, and office administration at Ocean Optics. As a member of the executive board, he will also assist in the strategic management of the company’s business, including sales, operations, engineering, and finance.

Keller joins Ocean Optics from Enpro Industries Inc, a diversified manufacturing group producing proprietary engineered products used in critical applications. His most recent roles were with Enpro’s GGB Inc as Global Vice President of Strategy and Growth, based in Longview, Texas; and as Global Vice President of Finance and IT, based in Annecy, France. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Finance and IT with another Enpro Industries group company, Stemco. Keller is an Associated Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from University of Sheffield (Sheffield, United Kingdom).

Comments (0) »

Tiny Low Cost Spectral Sensor from Ocean Optics Suited to OEM Integration and Benchtop Use

Spark’s solid state optical encoders bring spectroscopy to more applications than ever before
Dunedin, Florida, USA (March 5, 2015) – Ocean Optics’ new Spark spectral sensor uses optical technology advances to shrink instrument size, making it the smallest on the market to date. The Spark-VIS is the first offering in the Spark line of versatile spectral sensors, delivering high resolution measurements over the visible wavelength range of 380-700 nm. Available in both OEM and stand-alone configurations, the compact low-cost Spark-VIS is ideal for simple absorbance, fluorescence and emissive color measurements. It can be embedded to power next generation portable and Internet connected sensing devices for environmental, food, agriculture, biomedical and quality control applications; integrated directly on processing lines; or used as a benchtop instrument in teaching, research, medical and quality control labs.

Spark-VIS Spectral Sensor

Spark-VIS spectral sensor with Spark accessories.

The Spark-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. Compatible with Ocean Optics’ Raspberry Pi development kit, the Spark-VIS can be purchased off the shelf for applications engineering. The same spectral sensor can then be purchased economically in bulk for use as a component in portable and Internet-enabled devices.

The stand-alone Spark-VIS is easy to use, with plug and play USB connectivity. Its low cost makes it a good option for budget-conscious student labs. The even smaller OEM version runs off the host device’s driver and communication electronics, connected by ribbon cable. A line of Spark accessories, including clip-on cuvette holders, diffusers, and light sources, is compatible with both versions.

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.

Comments (0) »

Ocean Optics Names Winner of 2015 Young Investigator Award

Cash prize and grant awarded during SPIE BiOS/Photonics West 2015 conference
Dunedin, Florida, USA (February 20, 2015) – Ocean Optics, the industry leader in modular spectroscopy applications and products, recently named Amelie Heuer-Jungemann from the University of Southampton, UK the winner of the 2015 Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award.

 Caption: Pictured (from left to right) at the February 9, 2015 presentation of the 2015 Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award are co-chairs of the Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications conference Dr. Xing-Jie Liang of the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Dr. Wolfgang Parak of Philipps-Universität Marburg, Dr. Marek Osinski of the University of New Mexico; award recipient Amelie Heuer-Jungemann of the University of South Hampton; and Dr. David Creasey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ocean Optics. Photo courtesy of SPIE.

Caption: Pictured (from left to right) at the February 9, 2015 presentation of the 2015 Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award are co-chairs of the Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications conference Dr. Xing-Jie Liang of the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Dr. Wolfgang Parak of Philipps-Universität Marburg, Dr. Marek Osinski of the University of New Mexico; award recipient Amelie Heuer-Jungemann of the University of South Hampton; and Dr. David Creasey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ocean Optics. 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 Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications IX” conference at the 2015 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.

Heuer-Jungemann was honored for the paper titled “Programming nanoparticle assembly,” coauthored with Antonios G. Kanaras (Univ. of Southampton, UK). Their work describes achievements in nanoparticle self-organization using various chemical tools. The award was presented by Dr. David Creasey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ocean Optics, and Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications conference chairs Dr. Wolfgang Parak (Philipps-Univ. Marburg), Dr. Marek Osinski (The Univ. of New Mexico), and Dr. Xing-Jie Liang (National Center for Nanoscience and Technology).

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. According to Osinski, this year saw a record 80 submissions for the award.

“The quantity and caliber of entries this year are indicative of the enthusiasm with which this next generation of researchers has embraced the power of spectroscopy to protect and improve the quality of life for people worldwide,” said Creasey. “At Ocean Optics, we know we’ve only scratched the surface of the applications where spectroscopy can be applied.”

Comments (0) »

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.

Comments (0) »

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 http://oceanoptics.com/sers-giveaway/. 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

Comments (0) »

Ocean Optics Names World Cup of Applications Contest Winners

Dunedin, Florida, USA (September 17, 2014) – After collecting entries from around the globe, Ocean Optics has named two winners of its World Cup of Applications contest. Andreas Burkart won for The Faint Red Glow of Photosynthesis, and a group effort submitted by Bruce Robertson won for Polarized Light Pollution: A New Kind of Ecological Photopollution. Contest winners will be enjoying a trip for four to Ocean Optics’ Florida headquarters this fall for the opening of its new application lab.

In the spirit of global teamwork exemplified by the summer FIFA World Cup™, Ocean Optics invited customers to send in applications notes featuring research using its spectrometers. Over 40 entries were received, with all entries awarded a 5% voucher on a future purchase.  From a field of tough competitors, Burkart and Robertson emerged as the grand prize winners.

Burkart’s winning entry investigated a new avenue for plant study–using spectroscopy to measure the faint red chlorophyll fluorescence present during photosynthesis. In order to apply this method in remote field locations, Burkart paired inexpensive open source microcontrollers with Ocean Optics spectrometers, creating a fully solar driven research instrument.

Ocean Optics World Cup

Photo Courtesy of Andreas Burkart

Robertson submitted the work of a team that also included Gábor Horváth, György Kriska, and Péter Malik. The team studied the ecological impact of the interaction (polarization) of light with human made objects such buildings, cars, roads and other outdoor materials. The team used Ocean Optics spectrometers to characterize different manmade light sources and their effects when shined on various objects.

The winning application notes, along with a number of excellent additional submissions, can be found at http://oceanoptics.com/world-cup-entries/. Ocean Optics also maintains a comprehensive Applications knowledge base at http://oceanoptics.com/application/.

Comments (0) »

Ocean Optics Launches New Website

oceanoptics.com offers unique interactive tools and educational resources
Dunedin, Florida, USA (August 26, 2014) – Ocean Optics has launched a redesigned website at oceanoptics.com. The all new site design helps users more easily navigate through spectroscopy product and educational information with an interactive product selector, spectrometer range and resolution calculator, applications section, measurement techniques section, and a new search function that groups results by type.



oceanoptics.com is all new with spectroscopy tools and educational resources.


The biggest change to the site is the addition of two spectroscopy selection tools unique to Ocean Optics. On the Interactive Product Search users enter wavelength, measurement technique, and features criteria for a list of specific modular spectrometers to fit their application. The tool then allows side by side comparison of up to four products on key parameters including optical resolution, dynamic range and price. The Range and Resolution Calculator determines anticipated spectrometer performance (spectral range and resolution) depending on selection of slit size and grating type. The resulting graph can be printed or captured in multiple image formats for reference and sharing.

The other key parts of the site focus on knowledge and education. As the scope for spectroscopy rapidly expands, new users are investigating how it can be applied. The Applications section provides a catalog of Application Notes, organized by fields of study, which includes sample setups, spectra, images and related product information. The Measurement Techniques section explains key spectroscopy methods such as absorbance and fluorescence. It also provides tips and tricks related to Ocean Optics spectrometers, example setups and answers to frequently asked questions. Finally, the OEM/Custom section offers comprehensive information on working with Ocean Optics’ dedicated OEM engineering team to incorporate spectroscopy into a range of instruments.

The site’s new search function groups results by type so that users can jump quickly to what they’re looking for-whether it’s product information, application notes, measurement techniques or FAQs. Other key features are a live chat function for immediate customer support and the ability to request quotes and submit orders.

Comments (0) »

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).

Comments (0) »