Choosing a Detector for Scientific Research

This article covers the wide choice of detectors and detection systems offered by Oriel Instruments to help select the appropriate solution for a given detection requirement.

Signal Types

There are three types of signals:

  • CW (continuous wave) Signal – photon equivalent of DC current; steady or slowly varying signal.
  • Modulated Signal – periodically varying signal, modulated LED signal, FT-IR produced signal, chopped CW signal; duty factor is generally in the 10 to 90% range.
  • Pulsed Signal - low duty factor signal, less than 10%, which can be generated by pulsed Xe flashlamps, pulsed Nitrogen lasers, an explosion, etc.

Figure 1 shows the types of signals appropriate for different Oriel Detection Systems.

Oriel Detection Systems for different types of  signals.

Figure 1. Oriel Detection Systems for different types of  signals.

Strong or Weak

As illustrated in Figure 2, there is a wide range of signal powers which need to be measured. Oriel Instruments offers a solution that addresses all measurement needs of customers.

Signal levels span many orders of magnitude, all of which require accurate measurement.

Figure 2. Signal levels span many orders of magnitude, all of which require accurate measurement.

Energetic or Not

Energy content of pulses can be low or high. Oriel Instruments offers solutions that satisfy all measurement needs of customers. The energy ranges of Oriel Detectors are depicted in Figure 3.

Energy ranges of Oriel Detectors.

Figure 3. Energy ranges of Oriel Detectors.

Fast or Slow

Temporal behavior of signals may differ to a great extent. Oriel Instruments offers solutions that meet all measurement needs of customers. The time constants of Oriel Detectors are delineated in Figure 4.

Time constants of Oriel Detectors.

Figure 4. Time constants of Oriel Detectors.

Clean or Dirty

Oriel Detectors address the issues associated with variation in ambient light conditions, due to their design and ambient light rejection capabilities (Figure 5).

Ambient light rejection capabilities of Oriel Detectors.

Figure 5. Ambient light rejection capabilities of Oriel Detectors.

Selecting an Appropriate Detector

Oriel Instruments offers a wide range of detectors, which are covered in this section.

Multichannel Detectors

Oriel Instruments’ LineSpec™ Spectrometer system utilizes a robust detector for multichannel spectroscopy. It captures any CW or pulsed event by operating in an integrating mode, with a dynamic range. Other features include a compact and portable package design, commanding operating software, almost-instantaneous single or multiple spectra acquisition, all at an affordable price. The Si-based and InGaAs models ascertain wide spectral coverage.

MIR 8000™ FT-IR Detectors

The portfolio of detectors intended to work with Oriel MIR 8000™ FT-IR  scanner has been optimized for detecting collimated, modulated IR radiation. This portfolio consists of InGaAs, InSb, MCT, Si, and DTGS detectors covering the wide spectral range of 0.7 to 17um.

Photon Counting

Oriel's PhotoMultiplier Tube (PMT) systems are several orders of magnitude more sensitive than any other detection offering, making these the ultimate and cost-effective solution. These UV-NIR detection systems enable measurements of very low signals, such as single photon counting, photoluminescence, and Raman spectroscopy applications.

Flange Mounted Photodiode Sensors

Oriel’s family of photodiode sensors have been designed into a 1.5 inch flange housing, allowing light-tight compatibility to most Oriel accessories and instruments. These sensors are operated in the photovoltaic (unbiased) mode to provide the lowest noise for DC and low frequency signals. Both amplified and unamplified versions with large active areas are available, covering a wide spectral range of 200 nm to 9 um.

LIDA-SRS-KIT Radiometry System

The LIDA-SRS-KIT Lock-In Digital Amplifier system is an effective and user-friendly method to measure optical signals. The system includes Oriel’s TracQ Basic software to acquire spectroscopic measurement data quickly and easily, without previous programming knowledge. The optical chopper included with the system is used to modulate the continuous wave light source. The kit is available in both 120 VAC and 220 VAC models.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Oriel Instruments.

For more information on this source, please visit Oriel Instruments.

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