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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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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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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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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HPX-2000-HP-DUV High Power Xenon Source for Spectroscopy

Ocean Optics’ continuous wave xenon source has response from 185-2000 nm
Dunedin, Florida, USA (June 5, 2013) – The HPX-2000-HP-DUV Xenon Light Source is a powerful, 75-watt short-arc lamp ideal for UV-Vis absorbance spectroscopy and other applications where a high-intensity lamp is necessary. The lamp provides continuous spectral output from 185-2000 nm and has up to 2,000 hours of bulb life.

HPX-2000-HP-DUV

HPX-2000-HP-DUV High Power Xenon Source for Spectroscopy

The HPX-2000-HP-DUV features an integrated shutter that can be controlled via a switch on the front panel or a TTL signal over the rear panel, so that taking dark measurements and making other adjustments does not affect lamp stability or compromise experiment integrity. By adding an external filtering option such as an Ocean Optics CUV-FL-DA direct-attach cuvette holder, the HPX-2000-HP-DUV becomes a convenient broadband excitation source for fluorescence.

The output intensity of the HPX-2000-DUV over the entire 185-2000 nm range is 3.5x-4x higher than the output intensity of standard xenon sources. Optimum warm-up time is 40-60 minutes and drift is <0.06% per hour (after one hour stabilization).

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Ocean Optics Launches Powerful New Spectroscopy Software

OceanView’s customizable interface puts the user in control
Dunedin, Fla., USA (May 14, 2013) – Ocean Optics has released OceanView spectroscopy software, combining powerful data processing capabilities with a clear graphical user interface for use with the company’s miniature spectrometers. OceanView is highly customizable and includes a schematic view that provides a visual roadmap of data flow from spectral inputs to processed results.

OceanView

Ocean Optics OceanView software manages multiple spectrometers and devices.

OceanView displays and utilizes spectral data from Ocean Optics spectrometers with the added flexibility of integrating temperature, voltage and other input data, allowing users to capture and visualize data from multiple sources. In addition, OceanView saves and reloads previous experiments and has a persistence of settings feature that conveniently recalls acquisition parameters and file locations. Users can customize the OceanView interface once and later access those same settings without having to rebuild them with each new session.

Inspired by customer feedback across a variety of applications, OceanView delivers a high level of experimental control. Its schematic view – a flow chart with each step of the process represented – functions as both a blueprint of the data process from inputs to results and a tool to inspect and modify the process on the fly. It delivers results in the form of an answer, rather than just a simple waveform. More than 70 schematic nodes, or connection points, can be mapped in the schematic view. Other experiment control functions such as spectral splicing, interpolation and device output control are available.

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Ocean Optics Introduces Handheld Raman Spectrometer

Compact IDRaman unit is ideal for authentication and counterfeit detection
Dunedin, Fla. (May 7, 2013) – Ocean Optics has released the IDRaman mini handheld Raman spectrometer, a small, powerful instrument with exceptional performance for sample authentication and counterfeit detection, identification and verification. The palm-sized IDRaman mini is rugged and dependable, delivering fast, accurate Raman analyses ranging from chemical and explosive agent detection in the field to quality assurance and quality control sampling routines in the laboratory.

IDRaman mini, Ocean Optics

IDRaman mini from Ocean Optics for sample authentication and counterfeit detection, identification and verification.

The IDRaman mini overcomes many of the limitations of current handheld Raman instruments – especially size, sample measurement and power supply needs. At just 9.1 x 7.1 x 3.8 cm (3.6 x 2.8 x 1.5 in.) and weighing only 330 g (11 oz.), the IDRaman mini is not much larger than the typical mobile phone. To ensure simple and dependable operation during long field missions or manufacturing shifts where recharging is impossible, the IDRaman mini runs on two easily-replaced AA batteries.

The small size of the IDRaman mini does not limit its sample measurement performance. The unique Raster Orbital Scanning (ROS) mode scans a tightly focused beam over a wide sample area, dramatically improving the quality of the Raman measurement. ROS has benefits for liquid and solid samples, in particular solid samples that are inhomogeneous and irregularly shaped. Also, ROS is a dramatic improvement over stationary beam systems. The low average power needed eliminates sample damage and the possible ignition of explosive samples. In ROS mode, most compounds can be identified in less than nine seconds.

Featuring a bright 7.1 cm (2.8 in.) resistive touchscreen display, the IDRaman mini is easy to operate in bright sunlight and while wearing restrictive personal protection equipment. The straightforward, graphical interface is easy to navigate and allows operators of all skill levels to quickly acquire data. Sampling can be accomplished using either small vials or with a stand-off accessory for powders, residues, and solid samples.

The IDRaman mini helps make the power of Raman analysis more accessible, improving efficiency and saving on measurement costs.

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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 (http://www.oceanoptics.com/corporate/blue_ocean_grants.asp). 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.

BlueOcean2012BLOG

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 http://www.oceanoptics.com/corporate/blue_ocean_grants.asp

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Ocean Optics Introduces Miniature Spectrometer for Process and OEM Applications

EMBED offers OEMs simplicity and robustness 
Dunedin, Fla. (April 10, 2013) – Ocean Optics has expanded its line of customized products for optical sensing with the EMBED miniature spectrometer. EMBED is a small-footprint optical bench with minimal electronics targeted at industrial process control and OEM optical measurement systems.

EMBED miniature spectromete

EMBED small-footprint miniature spectrometer for industrial process control and OEM optical measurement systems

Designed around a next-generation optical bench, EMBED provides excellent thermal stability and measurement reliability, yet is packaged with only essential electronics to reduce footprint and simplify integration. The onboard electronics provide fundamental spectral pre-processing and multi-channel capability, as well as native SPI communication support that establishes a direct, stable and fast interface with microcontrollers and industrial control systems. Like all Ocean Optics spectrometers, EMBED’s design allows for extensive optical component customization to support a wide variety of applications, while maintaining excellent quality in high volume production.

In its standard configuration, the EMBED includes a robust 2048-element CCD-array detector and selectable optical bench components – including entrance apertures, gratings, order sorting filters and more – that make it possible for the EMBED to support low-light and high-throughput measurements. Its design provides the EMBED exceptional thermal and environmental stability – attractive features for process and other applications where temperature and environmental factors can affect measurements. In addition, the EMBED design supports multichannel functionality, allowing users to make simultaneous or timed-gated measurements from multiple EMBED spectrometers within a single system. This is essential to applications such as reference monitoring, dissolution testing, multiple point sampling and process end-point detection.

The EMBED was designed specifically for seamless integration with simplicity and ease-of-incorporation as the primary design drivers. It is a true embedded spectrometer for OEM and industrial customers, communicating directly to a host processor and allowing direct access to the spectrometer’s electronics. These features help reduce overall instrument footprint and improve system stability without compromising the performance or capabilities of the spectrometer.

To complement the EMBED, Ocean Optics also offers light sources, spectrometers, sub-assemblies and complete systems, to help OEM customers bring products to market faster. A diverse offering of components allows industrial customers to build a complete system optimized around specific requirements. Ocean Optics’ dedicated team of integration support engineers provides complete system design capability, from choice of spectrometers and light sources to system integration and application support. Ocean Optics is ISO 9001:2008 certified and can support component, integrated system and sub-system high-volume manufacturing needs.

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