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 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.


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 ( 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 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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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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New High-Throughput Spectrometers from Ocean Optics

Ventana’s optical design and components maximize throughput for superior sensitivity
Dunedin, Fla. (February 20, 2013) – Ocean Optics has expanded its Elite Series of high-performance modular spectrometers ( with the introduction of the Ventana line of high throughput spectrometers. Ventana spectrometers combine an optical bench configuration with very high collection efficiency and a high-efficiency volume phase holographic (VPH) grating to provide unprecedented throughput and sensitivity for low light level applications. Three preconfigured Ventana spectrometers are available: 532 nm and 785 nm excitation wavelength Raman models, and a visible to near-IR model for general purpose fluorescence applications.

Ventana high-throughput spectrometer-part of the Elite Series from Ocean Optics

Ventana high-throughput spectrometer-part of the Elite Series from Ocean Optics

With its high sensitivity performance and compact size, Ventana is ideal for academic and corporate research, OEMs and system integrators seeking a cost-effective alternative to traditional integrated systems. It is well suited for applications in life sciences, pharmaceuticals, materials analysis and more.

The 785 nm Ventana system has a spectral range of 250-2000 cm-1 and resolution of 10 cm-1; the 532 nm version covers 35-4300 cm-1 with 20 cm-1 resolution. The VIS-NIR Ventana spectrometer is configured for fluorescence measurements from 430-1100 nm with a resolution of 4.0 nm (FWHM). Also, the 785 nm Raman Ventana spectrometer can be configured with an integrated laser with free space collection optics for the highest throughput possible. Additionally, complete Raman sampling systems including laser, probe and software are available.

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