Tunable Light Sources

Tunable Light Sources Knowledge Base

Our TLS (tunable light source) is a convenient and affordable integration of the Mini-Chrom monochromator, and an efficient power stabilized broadband Tungsten Halogen light source with a variable aperture/shutter. The versatile design and options allow the selection of manual or computer controlled versions, several spectral ranges from 360 – 1000 nm, 6 nm, 10 nm, or 25 nm bandpass output, as well as fiber optic input adapters and cables for the output. These tunable light sources are great for laboratory use, and have been customized for many OEM applications.

Light source layout diagram

Tunable light sources are used to maximize throughput in the visible region of the spectrum. They are used to study wavelength dependent chemical, biological, and physical changes or properties. The sources can also be used in color analysis and reflectivity measurements of products for aesthetic purposes.

The filament of a 20W tungsten halogen lamp is imaged so that it completely fills the entrance slit of a Mini-Chrom monochromator. Surprisingly, as higher power lamps have larger filaments, most of the extra energy never makes it through the entrance slit and lamps with significantly higher wattage will not produce significantly higher throughput.

By turning the knob on the manual version, or using software control on the motorized version, the diffraction grating is rotated to allow only a few nm of light to pass through the fiber optic adapter or cable. We offer a wide range of grating choices for our tunable light sources to provide optimum band pass selectivity and throughput.

The lamp used in the TLS series has usable spectral energy between 360 nm and 2000 nm. However, no one grating can give adequate performance over this range. We offer versions optimized for the visible spectrum 360 nm to 800 nm and others for the near infrared.

For most illumination applications, passbands of 5 nm or narrower are considered to be high resolution. Passbands of 10 nm or less are rarely needed in colorimetry or photochemistry.

Manual Versions Include:

  • Manual TLS with optional fiber optic cableDigital monochromator with 600μ slit set
  • Lamp module including variable aperture/shutter and power supply
  • Aperture adapter SMA-905
  • User manual

(Note: Manual versions cannot be upgraded to computer-controlled versions)

Computer Controlled Versions Include:

  • Scanning digital monochromator with 600μ slit set
  • Lamp module including variable aperture/shutter
  • Aperture adapter SMA-905
  • User manualComputer controlled TLS with optional fiber optic cable
  • Control box (stepper motor controller and lamp power supply) with:
  • Power cord
  • Monochromator control cable
  • Lamp power cable
  • Software CD

Wavelength Control Software

The computer controlled TLS models come with a simple wavelength selection software that runs under Windows® operating systems. It allows specific wavelength selection as well as the ability to scan over a spectral range with selectable wavelength increments.

The software is written to communicate via a USB 2.0 interface. Serial RS-232 communication is optionally available.

View the Optometrics Corporate Capabilities Brochure

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