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.

QEPro

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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Raster Orbital Scanning Technology from Ocean Optics Recognised at TASIA* Awards

The Raster Orbital Scanning (ROS) feature of the IDRaman family of products from Ocean Optics has been recognised as one of 2013’s 15 best innovation technologies by The Analytical Scientist magazine, an industry publication. ROS is a novel Raman spectroscopy sampling technique that helps to derive more accurate and comprehensive measurement results. The IDRaman mini handheld Raman spectrometer and the IDRaman reader integrated Raman spectrometer both feature ROS.

IDRaman_mini_vials_powders_blog

ROS increases the sensitivity of Raman measurements up to 10 fold by rastering a tightly focused laser beam over a larger area, encountering more Raman-active compounds. The reduction of the background by ROS provides a more accurate result and is especially ideal for applications like surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Rastering a tightly focused beam allows the resolution of measurement to be mainlined, ensuring accuracy for applications that rely on library matching.

ROS offers the advantage of allowing higher laser powers to be used for measurement without damage to the sample. This supports the development of low-cost Raman detection in mainstream applications such as anti-counterfeit and medical diagnostics. By scanning a larger area with a the laser beam, The Analytical Scientist points out that conventional paper could be used as a SERS substrate for a point-of-care diagnostic tests, as opposed to pristine surfaces.

“This unique sampling technique helps make Raman measurements more accurate and reliable, enabling our customers to do more,” said Richard Pollard, President of Ocean Optics. “We are excited to hear that Raster Orbital Scanning has received this award.”

*The Analytical Scientist Innovation Awards

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Ocean Optics Handheld Spectrometer Finalist for Prism Award

Compact IDRaman mini delivers fast, accurate Raman analyses in the field and laboratory
Dunedin, Florida, USA (December 17, 2013) – Ocean Optics’ IDRaman mini handheld Raman spectrometer has been selected as a finalist for the Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation. The Prism Awards honor the best new photonics products on the market and draw entries from around the world. The prestigious awards, which are co-sponsored by the trade organization SPIE and the technology media company Photonics Media, will be awarded at the 2014 Photonics West trade show in February.

IDRaman mini, Ocean Optics

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

The IDRaman mini is a finalist in the Defense and Security category of the Prism Awards and is distinguished as a small-footprint, high accuracy instrument ideal for applications ranging from first responders identifying explosives to quality control specialists involved in sample authentication.

The IDRaman uses a novel sampling technique called Raster Orbital Scanning (ROS) where a tightly focused laser beam is moved or rastered across the sample in an orbital pattern. This allows an area about 10 times larger than the laser focus spot to be sampled, encountering more Raman active compounds. Because more Raman-active compounds are sampled, the resulting data incorporates a much higher sensitivity without sacrificing resolution. The increased accuracy in the Raman data further provides high confidence when identifying compounds through library matching.

Furthermore, the IDRaman mini is very small, just 9.1 x 7.1 x 3.8 cm (3.6 x 2.80 x 1.5 in.) and weighing about 11 oz. Its small size and operation from two AA batteries makes IDRaman very attractive for applications where a light, portable instrument is desired.

“The powerful performance of the IDRaman mini has captured the attention of both our customers and spectroscopy experts alike,” said Richard Pollard, President of Ocean Optics. “Combining the ROS technology into a truly handheld product makes accurate Raman measurements available for a variety of applications where fast, accurate material identification is important.”

The Prism Awards nomination follows industry recognition earlier in the year when the IDRaman mini claimed the Annual Readers’ Choice Award from Laboratory Equipment magazine.

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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.

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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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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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