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PI's high-performance Spec-10 CCD camera system comes complete with a cryogenic cooling platform. This revolutionary system features cooling down to -120°C with liquid nitrogen, read noise as low as 3 e-rms, and optional PCI or USB 2.0 interfaces.

Keeping tradition with the PI approach, our Spec-10 is offered with a full range of spectroscopy CCDs, including proprietary 1340x100 and 1340x400 format devices in front, back-illuminated, and deep depletion versions. Operated at 100 kHz and 1 MHz, each camera delivers greater than 16-bit true dynamic range. Its easy-to-use USB 2.0 interface permits utilization with portable laptop computers.

Full-triggering and shutter control capabilities are provided. The Spec-10 cameras are also available with renowned WinView/WinSpec software suites featuring powerful data acquisition capabilities. Its macro record feature quickly and easily automates complex experiments. Spec-10 cameras are backward-compatible with all the software packages and custom programs written for previous PI cameras.

Features and Benefits

Incomparable Instrumentation

The Spec-10 platform was engineered by the same research and development group that introduced the first 16-bit optical multi-channel analyzer, the first dual-diode array, and the first spectroscopic format CCD. This state-of-the-art detection system represents yet another milestone in sophisticated, practical technology for spectroscopists. Its 16-bit platform incorporates performance optimized spectrometric CCDs, ultra-low noise electronics, and full software control of both the camera and the spectrometer for quick and accurate data delivery.

Exclusive Spectrometric CCDs

Spec-10 systems are configurable with a number of front- and back-illuminated CCDs available exclusively from PI. These scientific-grade detectors, developed jointly with CCD manufacturers, employ several design features engineered specifically for optimizing the performance parameters of spectroscopy experiments. One of the design's most obvious special characteristics -- the rectangular array format -- serves the dual purpose of providing fast spectral rates (small heights) and full spectral coverage (large widths). PI offers a variety of enhancement coatings which can raise the QE of these spectrometric CCDs. For higher sensitivity in the NIR, deep-depletion devices are also available. PI has worked with a device manufacturer to successfully minimize the etalon effect that typically occurs when back-illuminated CCDs are used for NIR spectroscopy. Reduction is accomplished by fabricating these CCDs on thicker silicon, applying an AR coating optimized for the NIR, and processing the back surface in a proprietary way which helps break up the etalon effect.

Choice of Communications

A first-in-the-industry USB 2.0 communications port facilitates easy Spec-10 integration with PC notebooks and desktops, as well as with larger systems manufactured by OEMs. Alternatively, a PCI card interface also delivers fast, reliable data transfer.

Superior Cooling Technology

While some Spec-10 models reduce dark current and inherent noise contribution to negligible levels via cryogenically cooling the CCD down to -120°C with liquid nitrogen.

Comprehensive Control

While every Spec-10 can be configured with a dual-speed digitizer that provides fast spectral rates and low-noise readout modes, numerous models are also available with the industry's first six-speed digitizer, which enables software selectable rates of 50 kHz, 100 kHz, 200 kHz, 500 kHz, 1 MHz, and 2 MHz. The Spec-10 lets users specify read rate, on-chip binning parameters, and regions of interest (ROI) - all under software control. For instance, if your experiment dictates that the output of an imaging spectrometer is two or more distinct spectra, then the CCD's on-chip binning can be set to read out each spectrum separately. Multiple spectra taken simultaneously can either be stored in the same data file or separated in post-processing. In addition, only Spec-10 systems allow you to set acquisition speeds and gains independently via software. Furthermore, many models support software-selectable dual amplifiers optimized for high-capacity applications (e.g., Absorption spectroscopy), or high-sensitivity applications (e.g., Raman or Fluorescence spectroscopy).

Powerful Easy-to-Use Software

The Spec-10 runs under WinSpec, PI's 32-bit Windows software package for spectroscopy. WinSpec provides comprehensive spectral acquisition, display, processing, and archiving functions, so you can perform complete data acquisition and analysis without having to rely on third party software. Run automatic spectrometer control and calibration routines using WinSpec, move to any spectral window, or change gratings without recalibrating. WinSpec also facilitates snap-ins to permit easy user customization of any function or sequence. Windows DLLs, Linux® drivers, and our exclusive PI PVCAM® application programming interface allow you to write customized software, making integration of Spec-10 detection systems into larger experiments a straightforward endeavor.

Full Spectrometer Support

PI offers extensive support for spectrometer integration, including fiber optic accessories, lenses, lens mounts, f# matchers, and spectrometer flanges. Spec-10 detection systems can be coupled to the entire line of PI Research spectrometers, providing fully integrated instruments with automated software control of both the spectrometer and the detector. Adapters are available for most other leading-edge spectrometers, as well. The resultant spectroscopy solutions are easily controlled and monitored with WinSpec, PVCAM, and the SITK™ plug-in for National Instruments' popular LabVIEW software package.

Better Detector Probing

A 2.2 µm detector lets you probe deeper into your sample material in order to uncover a wealth of new data. Investigations in this spectral region are becoming increasingly important to many applications, including polymer and fuel research. Sensitivity in the 2.2 µm region is especially useful for analyzing moisture content, as well.

The InGaAs utilized in our newest OMA V™ systems has much less intrinsic dark noise than earlier generations of extended InGaAs. In many cases, PI OMA V 2.2 µm detectors provide ten times the sensitivity of previous extended-InGaAs detectors.

The results speak for themselves:

  • NIR Raman with Diode Laser Excitation
  • Raman spectrum of CCI4 acquired using OMA V (2.2-µm InGaAs)
  • 785-nm excitation, 200-µm collection fiber