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Optical Spectrometer

Product Code G2001A1
Price £950.00 ex. VAT

USB optical spectrometer for low price light characterisation

Measure the spectrum of light over a wide spectral range for material and nanostructure characterisation

The new Ossila USB powered optical spectrometer brings affordable spectroscopy to research scientists around the world. A unique, state-of-the-art 3D printed enclosure combines with powerful electronics to deliver a fast, reliable, and low price device.

Built to simplify the optical characterisation of thin films, solutions, nanocrystals, photonic structures and more, the Ossila Optical Spectrometer is both easy to use and completely controllable. Our free intuitive spectroscopy software allows you to quickly and easily begin taking measurements in just a few clicks, and a simple command library allows you to fully integrate the spectrometer into your lab.

As part of the Ossila Guarantee, the Ossila Optical Spectrometer is covered by our two year warranty as standard and is eligible for quick and free worldwide shipping.

The Ossila Optical Spectrometer is available now. Order yours today.

What is an optical spectrometer?

An optical spectrometer takes a beam of light and separates it into its constituent wavelengths using a dispersive element such as a grating or prism and measures the relative intensities of these wavelengths using an optical sensing element. Optical spectrometers work in the optical region of the electromagnetic spectrum and are used to perform optical spectroscopy. Find out more about spectrometers.

Optical spectroscopy uses light to probe the properties of materials or structures. By studying the wavelength and intensity of light that is emitted, transmitted, reflected or absorbed by a material or structure, various properties of the sample can be determined. For example, the concentration of molecules in solution can be determined by measuring the light absorbed by the solution, or the thickness of films can be calculated by the reflected light.

Key Features

Wide spectral range

Wide spectral range (320 nm – 1050 nm)

The Ossila Optical Spectrometer measures the entire visible spectrum, from the UV-A band to the near infrared, making it suitable to study a wide range of material systems including photovoltaic, OLED and biological materials.

Included with the spectrometer is a filter to minimise the impact of higher diffraction grating orders on the spectra.

Powerful electronics

Powerful electronics

A powerful Arm cortex M4 processor works with a low-noise, high-speed 16-bit ADC to provide fast and accurate operation, all powered through a USB type-C connection.

The system is capable of transferring over 100 frames-per-second to the host PC when running in internal trigger mode.

Free software or interface through simple serial commands

Free software or interface through simple serial commands

The system includes a powerful software application to help you start measuring quickly. Intensity, transmission/reflection and absorbance measurements are all available. Additional features include spectral averaging and accumulation, autosaving, peak detection and more.

The system can be integrated with other hardware using the simple serial command interface, compatible with most programming languages.

Unique precision 3D printed enclosure

Unique precision 3D printed enclosure

State-of-the art manufacturing technology allows close integration between the design of the enclosure, the optical elements and electronics, simplifying manufacture and reducing costs.

Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D printing provides high strength, high dimensional accuracy and high quality finish at a low price.

Internal and external trigger modes

Internal and external trigger modes

Use the optical spectrometer in free-running mode, or integrate with other systems using the external trigger input. The unique rolling integration mode allows the integration time to be controlled dynamically by external trigger signals.

The system includes an output to synchronise acquisition with an external trigger. There are also two programmable general-purpose output pins.

The Ossila Optical Spectrometer in a laboratory
The Ossila Optical Spectrometer comes with intuitive free software to enable intensity, transmission / reflection, and absorbance measurements
The Ossila Optical Spectrometer protective case
A protective case can also be purchased which enables the Spectrometer to be secured to an optical bench


It would be impossible to list all the uses of optical spectroscopy, so wide-ranging are its applications. Below are a few examples from several scientific disciplines.


Characterisation of LEDs and lasers.

Investigations into absorbing materials e.g. for solar cell applications.

Measurement of the efficiencies of anti-reflective or super reflective coatings.

Identification of low dimensional systems e.g. nanocrystals, TMDC monolayers.


Determination of solute concentration though the Beer-Lambert law.

Detecting the presence of specific small molecules/polymers within a sample through either their absorption or emission profiles.


Identifying conformational changes in proteins.

Determining rates of enzymatic redox reactions.

Detection of fluorescent markers.

The transmission holder add-on in a laboratory
The transmission holder add-on (sold separately) holds your substrate or film in place for absorption or transmission measurements

Getting Started with the Ossila Optical Spectrometer

Transmission, Reflectivity, Scattering and Absorption

Transmission, reflectivity, absorption and scattering are four parameters that describe the behaviour of light that is incident on a sample. The light can either pass through without interaction (transmission), bounce back towards the source (reflection), bounce in a random direction (scattering) or transfer its energy into the sample (absorption). Studying these processes is critical to the understanding material system and photonic structures, and an optical spectrometer is an ideal tool for these studies.

Spectrometer absorption measurement

Transmission and reflectivity measurements have a broad range of applications, from characterising photonic structures such as dielectric stacks, often used as high-reflectivity or antireflection coatings, to process control in manufacturing. They can be used to detect changes film thickness, density changes and even the presence or absence of objects.

The optical absorption of materials quantifies the attenuation of a beam of light as it passes through the material. The energy of the incident photons is used to transfer electrons into higher energy states. In most optically active materials, UV and visible photons will promote electrons to higher energy electronic orbitals, while IR photons will increase the vibrational energy of the electrons. Absorption measurements, along with emission studies (see below) can allow the internal electronic and vibrational structure of atoms and molecules to be determined, and even the conformational structure of molecules and polymers to be inferred. It can also be used to calculate the concentration of absorbing species in a sample or monitor the progress of chemical reactions. These are critical for applications such as chemical synthesis and analysis, material discovery (e.g. for photovoltaics, LEDs, pharmaceuticals etc) and quality monitoring/control. It can also identify atomic species in gases and is widely used in astronomy.

Scattering measurements are used to calculate the size and distribution of scattering centers within a sample and are useful for impurity detection/monitoring in water systems, nanoparticle characterisation and drug loading for pharmaceuticals.


Studying the light that is emitted by materials is a complimentary technique to absorption spectroscopy, in that it probes how processes lead to the conversion of internal energy to photons, rather than the other way around.

Spectrometer emission measurement

Fluorescence and phosphorescence measurements often involve first illuminating the sample with an intense beam of light, usually a laser or high-power LED tuned to a wavelength where the sample will absorb the light. Once the photon energy is transferred to the sample, it will undergo an internal redistribution which may result in heating, conformational changes etc. Some materials will then reemit any remaining energy in the form of photons, at a lower energy (longer wavelength) than those it absorbed which can be collected by an optical spectrometer. Studying the difference between the ingoing and outgoing photon energies allows information about the electronic and vibrational states to be extracted, as well as how the fluorescent materials are interacting with their surroundings. While this information can be used to compliment/as an alternative for many of the examples given above (material characterisation, quality control etc.), it does have some unique applications. Fluorescent molecules are often used as ‘tags’ or ‘tracers’, in applications as far-ranging as understanding the processes occurring within living cells to identifying the paths of water courses.

Not all luminescence has to be induced with a light-source. Some chemical reactions result in excess internal energy that is emitted, as is often found in nature e.g. fireflies, glow worms, some deep sea fish and algae.

An optical spectrometer is invaluable in studying all types of emitters. It allows the colour rendering index (CRI) of light sources to calculated – an important factor when developing lighting for specific applications. It can measure the solar spectrum and is widely used in astronomy for classifying types of star.

Support and Articles


Dimensions 78 mm x 78 mm x 38 mm (D x W x H)
Weight 150 g
Wavelength range 320 nm - 1050 nm
Grating blaze wavelength 500 nm
Resolution (FWHM) 2.5 nm
Optical input SMA 905 fibre or free space
Entrance slit width 25 um
Connection type USB type-C
Communication protocol Serial-over-USB
Dark noise* < 50 counts
Signal-to-noise ratio > 500:1
Detector type / pixels CCD / 1600
Analog-to-digital converter 16-bit, 500 kSPS
Data transfer speed* Up to 100 fps (PC dependant)
Stray light < 0.2 %

*measured at 50 us integration time

Price Information

Ossila Optical Spectrometer £950.00
Ossila Spectroscopy Software FREE

The Ossila Optical Spectrometer is eligible for FREE worldwide shipping and is covered by our two year warranty as standard.

To the best of our knowledge the information provided here is accurate. However, Ossila assume no liability for the accuracy of this page. The values provided are typical at the time of manufacture and may vary over time and from batch to batch. All products are for laboratory and research and development use only, and may not be used for any other purpose including health care, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food or commercial applications.

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