Ocean Optics - Inventor of the World's First Miniature Spectrometer
Ocean Optics - Inventor of the World's First Miniature Spectrometer

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Ocean Optics - Inventor of the World's First Miniature Spectrometer

Spectrometer Operating Principles

The animation below shows how our spectrometer operates.
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The animation shows how Ocean Optics standard CCD detector-based spectrometers operate. Light enters the optical fiber and is efficiently transmitted to the spectrometer. Once in the spectrometer, the divergent light emerging from the optical fiber is collimated by a spherical mirror. The collimated light is diffracted by a plane grating, and the resulting diffracted light is focused by a second spherical mirror. An image of the spectrum is projected onto a linear CCD array, and the data is transferred to a computer through an onboard A/D converter.

Light impinges on photodiodes with the CCD pixels. These reverse-biased photodiodes discharge a capacitor at a rate proportional to the photon flux. When the integration period of the detector is complete, a series of switches closes and transfers the charge to a shift register. After the transfer to the shift register is complete, the switches open and the capacitors attached to the photodiodes are recharged and a new integration period begins. At the same time that light energy is being integrated, the data is read out of the shift register by an A/D converter. The digitized data is then displayed on your computer.

This animation represents CCD operation.


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Choosing Gratings 

Optical Resolution

System Sensitivity



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