Steady-State and Lifetime Bench-Top Spectrofluorometer: FluoroMax

The FluoroMax® range signifies HORIBA’s best-in-class fluorometer performance in an easy, economical, user-friendly bench-top version.

With its exclusive all-reflective optics and photon counting, the FluoroMax® series was the first to introduce the sensitivity of a modular fluorometer in a table-top fluorescence system.

While the spectrofluorometer is sufficiently compact, it still provides excellent sensitivity in fluorescence analyses and also includes features that are not found in the majority of the table top fluorescence detection instruments.

The FluoroMax® range includes the latest version of the original, high performance, table top fluorometer, called FluoroMax® Plus, which delivers long lasting performance, enables time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) lifetime measurements down to 25 ps, and detects emission spectra out to 1700 nm.

The FluoroMax® series spectrofluorometers are perfect for quantifying liquid and solid specimens.

Five Generations of Success: Cary Davies on the Roots of the FluoroMax®. Video Credit: HORIBA Scientific


  • Rapid scanning capability with up to 80 nm/second
  • Photon counting ensures excellent sensitivity
  • Water Raman signal-to-noise ratio is 10,000:1 (FSD technique)
  • Includes robust FluorEssence™ software for Windows®
  • Includes phosphorimeter accessory for long-lasting luminescence determinations
  • Includes time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) accessory for lifetime determinations
  • Entire experiment parameters can be recalled through Method Files


The Source

With the help of an elliptical mirror, the xenon source delivering crucial UV performance is directed toward the entrance slit of the excitation monochromator. Apart from guaranteeing efficient collection, the reflective surface ensures that all wavelengths remain focused on the entrance slit.

Alternatively, another software-selectable, xenon flash lamp can be integrated to facilitate phosphorescence analyses.

The Slits

The slits themselves can be bilaterally and constantly modified from the computer in millimeter or bandpass units. This maintains immediate reproducibility and the highest resolution.

The Excitation Monochromator

The excitation monochromator has an aspheric design that makes sure that the picture of the light diffracted by the grating accommodates via the slit.

The gratings, on their own, are plane, blazed gratings that prevent a couple of significant drawbacks of the more standard concave holographic gratings—that is, insufficient imaging during scans that discards light and substandard polarization performance.

The grating is scanned by the exclusive wavelength drive at speeds as high as 80 nm/second. The grating grooves are also blazed to offer optimized light in the visible and UV region.

The Reference Detector

Even before the excitation light falls on the specimen, a photodiode reference detector tracks the intensity as a function of wavelength and time. Besides this, the photodiode detector has a broader wavelength response when compared to the older, conventional rhodamine-B quantum counter, and prevents the need for maintenance.

The Sample Chamber

A large sample chamber is included that enables the use of an extended list of accessories for unique specimens and motivates users to use an array of sample schemes.

The Emission Monochromator

The emission monochromator is also integrated with all the excellent features of the excitation monochromator. Gratings are blazed to offer the highest throughput in the visible region.

The Emission Detector

Photon counting is used by emission detector electronics for excellent detection even in low light levels. Photon counting focuses on signals originating from fluorescence emission and overlooks smaller signals that originate in the detector tube (PMT).

The more standard approach of analog detection (employed by lower performance fluorometers) only adds signal and noise simultaneously, concealing weak emissions. Besides this, the emission detector housing includes an integral, factory-set, high voltage supply to offer a signal-to-noise ratio.

Computer Control

The FluoroMax® series is fully controlled in users’ PC with the FluorEssence™ software from HORIBA Scientific and the same is transmitted via a USB link. When the system is switched on, it automatically calibrates and presents itself for novel experiments, or stored routines, that can be immediately recalled from memory.


An array of accessories is applications oriented and many of these accessories can be interchanged with the FluoroMax® system.

FluorEssence Steady-State and Frequency Domain Software

The FluorEssence™ for Windows® sets a new benchmark for fluorescence software. The FluorEssence™ directly integrates spectrofluorometer data acquisition to the well-known processing power of Origin® software.

Image Credit: HORIBA Scientific

Easy clicks allow users to choose an accessory or a scan type, or even bring back a comprehensive experimental set-up.

Redefining the Way Users Operate their Spectrofluorometer

  • Detector algebra allows input signals from different detectors to be assembled into special equations (such as transcendental or arithmetic functions) that generate data in a format customized to users’ applications
  • Streamlined windows render data acquisition intuitive even to casual users
  • With free video tutorials, the FluorEssence™ can be learned more easily
  • The unique Real-Time Control (RTC) window can be selected to improve the run parameters before truly scanning
  • Blanks and lamp output are automatically corrected
  • A range of accessories, such as microwell-plate readers, polarizers, phosphorimeters, autotitrators, temperature baths, etc. can be run
  • Units for wavelength, temperature, and slit-width can be changed by simply clicking a mouse

The FluorEssence™ also features the robust processing and data-management tools of Origin® to simplify the operation of a laboratory.

The FluorEssence™ comes complete with data viewing, processing, plotting, and management. This also includes view manipulation and creation, widespread import and export facilities, data management, peak-picking and integration, arithmetic applications, etc.

Steady-State and Lifetime Bench-Top Spectrofluorometer: FluoroMax

Image Credit: HORIBA Scientific

Software Features

  • Zooming and scaling
  • Data views in Workbook formats, maintaining notes, tables and graphs collectively for all experiments
  • Deconvolute
  • Smoothing
  • 3D perspective
  • Standard arithmetic
  • Integration/DerivativeFit fluorescence data to Lorentzian, Gaussian and custom curves
  • 3D plots provide contour maps and profiles
  • Normalization
  • Blank subtraction
  • Extrapolation and interpolation
  • Excitation and emission correction
  • PLQY calculator wizard meant for Quanta-Phi accessory

DAS6 Decay Analysis Software

The decay analysis software from HORIBA Scientific recovers kinetic data (like rotational correlation times and fluorescence lifetime) from luminescence decay data by accommodating the raw decay data to one of the selected kinetic models.

DAS6 Decay Analysis Software

Image Credit: HORIBA Scientific

Through features like reconvolution and shift iteration of instrument response function (IRF, or 'lamp' profile), numerous decay components can be precisely recovered even when the decay data is considerably distorted by the IRF.

The DAS6 Decay Analysis Software has been designed to simplify the study of time-domain luminescence data and, at the same time, allows users to further adjust the parameters wherever required. Analysis modules enable reconvolution analysis of multi-exponential models as well as the analysis of more dedicated fluorescence decay processes as described below.


This process analyzes up to five exponentials.

Batch Exponential

Datasets comprising up to 10,000 decays are supported by batch mode. This mode is perfect for applications where huge volumes of lifetime data are created, for example, lifetime imaging and reaction monitoring. The batch mode includes full reconvolution with up to five exponentials and shift iteration.

Global Exponential

This process performs global analyses of up to five exponential parts and 100 decay curves.


There are two techniques for conducting lifetime distribution analysis. The first technique uses a 'Top Hat' distribution function that enables a single lifetime distribution to be accommodated along with an extra discrete lifetime. The second technique is an optional module that performs a Non-Extensive Decay distribution, which makes it possible to model up to five lifetime distributions.

Exponential Series

This process allows exponential series analysis of up to 30 terms and enables parameterization of otherwise complex data.

Foerster Energy Transfer

This enables both 2D and 3D Foerster-type energy transfer with exponential component (optional).

Yokoto-Tanimoto Energy Transfer

Yokoto-Tanimoto energy transfer considers diffusion with an exponential component (optional).

Micellar Quenching

Micellar quenching kinetics allows users to establish the surfactant aggregation number.


Exciplex analysis tracks the formation of an excited state species.

Anisotropy analysis

This process allows impulse reconvolution of up to five fluorescence decay components and two correlation times. All model parameters, such as shift, can be improved as part of the parameter fitting, or set at a predetermined value.

The use of reconvolution enables precise determination of rotational correlation times and decay times even when the observed decay is considerably distorted by the length of the excitation pulse.

DataStation TCSPC Acquisition Software

DataStation TCSPC Acquisition Software

Image Credit: HORIBA Scientific

Delivered with all HORIBA Scientific’s lifetime systems, DataStation is a new measurement environment meant for time-domain fluorescence.

Lifetime systems are composed of numerous components and modules, such as PMTs, pulsed light sources, MCAs, focusing optics, motorized polarizers, monochromators and much more. The DataStation incorporates the control of all these parts into a single intuitive, mouse-driven Windows® environment.

Lifetime systems are capable of performing a wide range of measurement functions, like phosphorescence decay measurement, fluorescence decay measurement, steady-state spectra, temperature scans, time-resolved anisotropy measurements, time-resolved emission scan (TRES), etc.

Such measurements have now become routine through DataStation. Measurement templates are available to rapidly set up the system for the preferred measurement, and automated data acquisition is conducted using components controlled by a computer.

The acquired data can be stored in a wide range of formats, such as the ASCII, .das format, and HORIBA Jobin Yvon IBH v4.2I, printed to users’ Windows® printer, copied, or exported to the clipboard for manipulation through a third party application.

The DataStation can be separately bought for use on non-HORIBA Scientific systems, and HORIBA Scientific will be glad to add custom-made interfacing and functionality (for example, to extra types of monochromators, motorized polarizer holders, and much more).

The DataStation TCSPC Acquisition software comes into its own when integrated with a FluoroHub.


The DataStation software evolves continuously when the latest functionality is added in response to the suggestion of customers. A partial list is shown below:


  • Reversed time-axis mode (data is automatically reversed during reversed-TAC mode measurements)
  • Numerous mouse zoom modes—x only, y only, x and y, pan, reset
  • Auto-scaling y-axis
  • Log or linear y-axis
  • Real-time display of peak channel, peak count, cursor position and total count
  • Real-time estimated average lifetime at the time of acquisition
  • Context-sensitive pop-up toolbars
  • Customizable and detachable toolbars with helpful hints
  • Tree navigation control window meant for FluoroHub control
  • Intuitive tree navigation for hardware settings and files

Steady-State and Lifetime Bench-Top Spectrofluorometer: FluoroMax

Image Credit: HORIBA Scientific


  • Allows multiple traces on screen at the same time
  • Measurement presets—elapsed time or peak count


  • The instrument can be configured for scan operation by simply clicking the mouse a few times
  • Automatic and manual data slicing
  • Scan emission or excitation monochromator
  • 3D data (counts versus time versus wavelength) is recorded with real-time 3D progress display and interactive rotation

Anisotropy Mode

  • G-factor measurement
  • Target difference count

MCA Support

  • EG&G/Perkin Elmer Ortec Trump card
  • Canberra/Tennelec PCA3

Monochromator Support

Polarizer Support

  • PRA polarizers
  • HORIBA Scientific 5000U-02 polarizers

Temperature Control Support

  • Cryostat (as an accessory to HORIBA Scientific 5000 series system only)
  • The Jobin Yvon IBH dipstick temperature controller from HORIBA Scientific (as an accessory to HORIBA Scientific 5000 series system only)

System Requirements

Measurement functionality relies on the attached spectrometer hardware. The fundamental operation needs a FluoroHub or a supported MCA card. For more information, customers can contact HORIBA Scientific.

The following PC specifications are needed to run the DataStation software: 1 Gb HD space, 1 Gb RAM, DVD drive, 1024 x 768 graphics with at least 256 color support, mouse, or other pointing devices. Windows™ XP or later (XP/Vista/7) but Windows™ XP is suggested.

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