Adding Intelligence to a visible spectrophotometer

Camspec have recently announced a new programmable visible spectrophotometer.

Prior to this, their visible range of spectrophotometers (325-1000nm, 5nm bandwidth, 0.1percent stray light @ 340nm) had a microprocessor to calculate the absorbance or concentration, but the wavelength was displayed on an analogue dial which was manually set using a knob.

The new design involves the addition of stepper motors to set the wavelength and filters, a 4 line x 20 character LCD display, and a nine-button keypad allows digital selection and display of the wavelength. This in turn allows the storage and recall of up to 200 methods and results, making the M108 a programmable instrument. This intelligence is then further extended via an RS232 output to allow a print-out of the result or optional full PC control of the spectrophotometer.

The internal software allows concentration calibration using up to eight standards, three replicates, and linear or linear through zero. Method number and name, wavelength, date and time, and units may also be printed out or stored. The PC software in addition allows up to third order concentration curves, timescans, and wavelength scanning.

Thus the replacement of manual wavelength/filter control by processor controlled stepper motors allows a step change in the intelligence and hence the capabilities of a spectrophotometer.

Camspec Limited is based in Cambridge, UK.

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