What is a Microspectrophotometer?
The UV-visible-NIR microspectrophotometer is an instrument used to measure spectra of microscopic samples or microscopic areas on samples. They have many functions and are known by many names:
- microspectrometer or microspectrophotometer
- microscope spectrometer or microscope spectrophotometer
- microscope photometer or microphotometer
- cytospectrophotometer or cytospectrometer
- microfluorimeter or microfluorometer
- Raman microspectrometer
While some have a specific function, such as the microfluorometer or the Raman microspectrometer, most are designed to measure spectra of microscopic areas or microscopic samples. The UV-visible-NIR microspectrophotometer can be configured to measure the transmittance, absorbance, reflectance, polarization, fluorescence and photoluminescence microspectra of sample areas smaller than a micron. They are also capable of non-destructive and non-contact colorimetry and thin film thickness measurement. Because UV-visible-NIR microspectrometers are so flexible, they are used in many fields of research and industry.
Some of these instruments are designed to be added to standard microscopes or probe stations, such as the 508PV™ microscope spectrophotometer, while others are fully integrated, purpose built instruments such as the 2030PV PRO™ microspectrophotometer. As such, microspectrophotometers have greater spectral ranges, better results and a number of features that are not possible with add-on units.
Why Use a Microspectrophotometer?
The microspectrophotometer allows the scientist or engineer to acquire spectra of extremely small sample areas non-destructively. Measurements can be made while light is transmitted through the sample, reflected from it or even when the sample is made to emit light such as from an OLED pixel. The UV-visible-NIR range is especially important as more substances...even colorless ones...absorb in the UV than in the visible and infrared regions. Therefore, a UV microscope spectrometer is very useful for analysis of most samples for any application.
Microspectrophotometers are widely used in many different fields and are found in both scientific laboratories and production facilities. In the production environment, for example, they are used for quality control of everything from color masks in flat panel displays to the thickness of films on semiconductor integrated circuits. Microspectrometers are used by analytical laboratories to identify and quantify microscopic samples ranging from the kinetics of cells by a biologist, diagnosis of cancer by a doctor, matching fibers or paints by a forensic chemist, the qualification of gems or coal by a geologist, the determination of the color of ink or paint by a process chemist or even the analysis of great works of art by conservators. As such, the microspectrometer is a highly flexible instrument with many different applications.