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New InGaAs Camera Engineered for Advanced, Low-Light,

Princeton Instruments is pleased to introduce a new member of the NIRvana® family of InGaAs imaging cameras, the NIRvana 640ST. Princeton Instruments’ scientific-grade NIRvana camera series is the world’s first to utilize a deep-cooled indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) focal plane array for research. The new NIRvana 640ST has been designed for scientific imaging applications in the shortwave infrared (SWIR). Amazing resolution and sensitivity from 900 to 1700 nm help make the NIRvana 640ST a perfect tool for standard SWIR fluorescence imaging, small animal imaging, astronomy, deep tissue imaging, and applications where short integration times in the SWIR region are required.

 NIRvana ST

“The NIRvana 640ST is a very unique SWIR camera in today’s market,” explains Scott Young, imaging product manager at Princeton Instruments. “The instrument’s modular design facilitates its utilization for microscopy as well as spectroscopy applications, both in the life sciences and the physical sciences. The new camera builds on the field-proven success of our original NIRvana 640 by combining the advantages of the latest-generation 640 x 512 InGaAs array [peak quantum efficiency: >80%] with thermoelectric cooling and low-noise readout electronics so as to deliver the highest possible sensitivity for short-integration experiments in this important wavelength range.”


The NIRvana 640ST offers either built-in air or liquid cooling, or a combination of the two, for use in thermally and vibration-sensitive environments. It also features a Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) data interface that allows remote operation from up to 50 meters and delivers a maximum frame rate of 110 frames per second at full resolution.


This new state-of-the-art camera is available with the latest Princeton Instruments LightField® data acquisition software, which affords complete control over all NIRvana hardware features via an exceptionally intuitive user interface. LightField provides automatic defect correction, precision exposure control (up to minutes), and a host of innovative functions for easy capture and export of imaging and spectral data. The NIRvana 640ST can be integrated into OEM systems using the PICAM SDK, a free software development kit from Princeton Instruments. 

Visit the NIRvana camera web page for more information.

Researchers at University of Wisconsin-Madison Measure 2D SFG Spectrum of a Peptide Using Princeton Instruments CCD Camera

Princeton Instruments, a leading manufacturer of sensitive low-light imaging and spectroscopic instruments, hails the landmark 2D SFG measurements performed on an interface-bound peptide by the Zanni group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Details of this groundbreaking work can be found in the recently published article, “Two-Dimensional Sum-Frequency Generation Reveals Structure and Dynamics of a Surface-Bound Peptide” [J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136 (3), pp 956–962; DOI: 10.1021/ja408682s]*.

Led by professor of chemistry Martin Zanni, the UW-Madison research group measured the two-dimensional sum frequency generation (SFG) spectrum of a peptide bound to a gold surface using a state-of-the-art Princeton Instruments PIXIS:400B CCD camera.

Determination of the secondary structure of interface-bound peptides is a powerful tool in the investigation of such protein-misfolding disorders as Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Unlike conventional linear spectroscopic methods, 2D IR and 2D SFG provide unambiguous information about the structure and dynamics of target molecules.

Emerging nonlinear spectroscopic methods like 2D IR require highly sensitive photodetectors. Commercialized by companies such as PhaseTech Spectroscopy (Madison, WI), these increasingly popular techniques offer an exciting new approach toward resolving the challenging medical problems posed by protein-misfolding diseases.


Compact, New Imaging Spectrograph Outperforms All Others in its Class!

February 27, 2014 — Trenton, New Jersey - Princeton Instruments is pleased to announce the availability of the new IsoPlane® 160 imaging spectrograph. The IsoPlane 160 brings the award-winning performance of Princeton Instruments’ IsoPlane SCT 320 to a smaller-footprint instrument. The IsoPlane 160 is the world’s first compact spectrometer to provide outstanding imaging, high spectral resolution, and excellent light-gathering power from the vacuum-UV (VUV) to the mid-IR range without performance tradeoffs.

IsoPlane 160

Key benefits of this new 160 mm focal length spectrograph include high spectral and spatial resolution across the entire 27 x 14 mm focal plane, as well as complete flexibility in spectral coverage, resolution, and wavelength range thanks to a triple-grating turret. Compared to similar focal length spectrographs on the market, the IsoPlane 160 has 2.5x better resolution (due to its excellent imaging) and improved aperture (f/3.5 versus f/4.0,
which translates to 31% more light-gathering power).

“The aberration-reduced design of the IsoPlane 160 makes it ideal for microspectroscopy applications,” explains Ed Gooding, Ph.D., Princeton Instruments’ spectroscopy product manager. “The IsoPlane 160 has outstanding imaging at zero order; thus, there is no need for a separate witness camera. Additionally, the IsoPlane 160 is very well suited for multiple-fiber spectroscopy and imaging as it can resolve dozens of spectral channels without crosstalk. No other 1/8 meter spectrograph can do this!”

Microscopy images have traditionally been limited to three colors, acquired sequentially using filter cubes. The IsoPlane 160, however, acquires hundreds or thousands of colors simultaneously, enabling a host of life and physical science applications.

As with its larger predecessor, the new IsoPlane 160 is complemented by the complete line of Princeton Instruments accessories, including light sources, optical fibers, filter wheels, and shutters, as well as manual motorized and kinematic slits. Integration with Princeton Instruments’ industry-leading PIXIS, ProEM®, PI-MAX®4, PyLoN®, and NIRvana® cameras is seamless.

The IsoPlane 160 is supported by Princeton Instruments’ 64-bit LightField® software (with available IntelliCal® wavelength calibration), Princeton Instruments’ 32-bit WinSpec software, and National Instruments’ LabVIEW® software. Researchers can also use their own acquisition software with the Princeton Instruments software developer’s kit (SDK).

Key applications for the IsoPlane 160 spectrograph include multichannel spectroscopy, microspectroscopy, Raman scattering, fluorescence, photoluminescence, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), Fourier-domain spectroscopy, biomedical imaging, and most other spectroscopic imaging and non-imaging techniques.

For more information visit:

Biophysical Society Annual Meeting 2014

2014 Biophysical Society Meeting & Exhibition
Feb. 16 - 18 - Booth #329
Moscone Convention Ctr - San Francisco, CA
Click for more information

Photonics West 2014

SPIE's Photonics West 2014 Exhibition
Feb. 4 - 6 - Booth #1823
Moscone Convention Ctr - San Francisco, CA
Click for more information

BIOS Exhibit 2014

SPIE's BIOS 2014 Exhibition
Feb. 1 - 2, 2014 - Booth#8501
Moscone Convention Ctr - San Francisco, CA 
For more information - click here

IsoPlane Spectrograph Used in Groundbreaking Raman Research

Princeton Instruments is pleased to announce that the award-winning IsoPlane spectrograph has been used in recent, groundbreaking research in single-molecule tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy by the Van Duyne group at Northwestern University.

Sonntag et al.,   “The Origin of Relative Intensity Fluctuations in Single-Molecule Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy,” has recently been accepted for publication by The Journal of the American Chemical Society (DOI: 10.1021/ja408758j).  The researchers combined the techniques of single molecule tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SMTERS) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to obtain unprecedented sensitivity and spatial resolution in Raman spectra of single rhodamine 6G molecules. The results constitute a significant advance in the understanding of excited-state dynamics in adsorbate-substrate interactions. The experimental setup included the PIXIS 400B CCD camera and IsoPlane SCT-320 spectrograph from Princeton Instruments.

About IsoPlane:

The IsoPlane® (patent pending) spectrograph features a revolutionary new optical design that eliminates field astigmatism and greatly reduces other aberrations inherent in the design of the Czerny-Turner spectrograph. It produces images with much higher spatial resolution across the focal plane than any mirror-based spectrograph on the market. The IsoPlane reduces instrumental line width limitations, significantly increasing the effective signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of single-molecule Raman spectra. Thanks to its superior imaging ability, the IsoPlane also eliminates crosstalk in multi-channel spectroscopy, providing an 8X increase over comparable instruments in the number of fiber spectra that can be spatially resolved over the height of a CCD array. Together with Princeton Instruments’ industry-leading CCD, EMCCD, ICCD, and InGaAs cameras, as well as highly reflective mirror coatings from Acton Optics, the IsoPlane offers the best available performance in optical spectroscopy.

Workshop at FACSS / SciX

Dr. Brian Smith, Spectroscopy Applications Specialist at Princeton Instruments, will present a workshop titled "Advanced Methods in Spectrometer Calibration."

The workshop will take place on Sunday, September 29th at 1:00 PM.

Register for the Workshop on the SciX web page:

Synopsis: The course will cover the need for wavelength and intensity calibrations for dispersive spectrographs, the problems traditionally encountered with these calibrations, and how new developments in lamp technology, software, and algorithms can give wavelength and intensity calibrations that are of high accuracy and are easy to obtain.

Don't forget to stop by the Princeton Instruments booth at FACSS - SciX 2013   Booth #100
Sept 30 - Oct 3rd
Milwaukee, WI

For more info:

Acton Optics & Coatings Provides Critical Optical Coatings for NASA’s IRIS Explorer Mission

Princeton Instruments is pleased to announce that the Acton Optics & Coatings product line has provided a number of critical optical coatings in use in the recently launched NASA IRIS Explorer Mission via contracts with Lockheed Martin and major partners Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Montana State University. These far ultraviolet and ultraviolet reflective optical coatings are an integral part of both the IRIS telescope and the IRIS spectrograph units of the mission instrumentation. IRIS was launched into orbit on June 28, 2013 and is in a sun-synchronous polar orbit that will allow it to make almost continuous solar observations during its two-year mission.

The wavelength bands of interest for this mission are the FUV (133.2nm to 140.6nm) and NUV (278.5nm to 283.5nm).  The mirror coatings provided for the IRIS telescope exhibit high reflectivity in the FUV band while maintaining a fixed reflectivity in the NUV band to limit crosstalk into the FUV band and low reflectivity in the visible and infrared.  A variety of coatings for components within the IRIS spectrograph were provided including camera mirrors, fold mirrors, reimaging mirrors, and collimating mirrors, in additional to a FUV bandpass filter.  The coatings for the spectrograph and slit jaw imager provide maximum on-band and minimum off-band reflectivity at the selectable emission lines in these two bands to allow observation of many wavelengths at once. 


 “The quality of images and spectra we are receiving from IRIS is amazing. This is just what we were hoping for,” said Dr. Alan Title, IRIS principal investigator and physicist at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (ATC) Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo Alto, Calif. "There is much work ahead to understand what we’re seeing, but the quality of the data will enable us to do that."

image comparison

These images show a comparison between the higher resolution provided by the new IRIS solar observatory (right) and the SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) spacecraft (left). Scientists say IRIS, launched last month, will help shed light on the sun's impact on Earth. Photo Credit:  Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA/AP


“IRIS was an excellent opportunity for the Acton Optics & Coatings team to demonstrate our expertise in UV coatings design and manufacturing,” said Matt Lyons, Business Manager of the Acton Optics & Coatings product line.  “We were provided mission spectral goals and, as we do with many of our customers, we engineered thin film coatings that offer unique reflectivity, transmission and blocking properties that advance our customers scientific goals.  Very interesting science is being conducted in the UV and we are pleased our products can help researchers make advances in this important spectral region.”


Acton Optics & Coatings has a long history of providing long-lifetime, high-performance optics and coatings for numerous astronomy projects including SDO (AIA), Lyra, PICARD/SODISM, Cassini, Hubble, SOHO (UVCS), TRACE and WISP.

complete IRIS observatory

This is a photo of the complete IRIS observatory with the solar arrays deployed. This photo was taken in a large clean tent at LM prior to vibration testing and prior to installation of the flight MLI blankets. The front door, the aluminum disk to the far left end of the telescope tube, is now open and the observatory carrying out its solar observing mission. Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin photo


About the IRIS Explorer Mission (from NASA website):

IRIS is a NASA Explorer Mission to observe how solar material moves, gathers energy and heats up as it travels through a little-understood region in the sun's lower atmosphere. This interface region between the sun's photosphere and corona powers its dynamic million-degree atmosphere and drives the solar wind. The interface region also is where most of the sun's ultraviolet emission is generated. These emissions impact the near-Earth space environment and Earth's climate.

 Designed to research the interface region in more detail than has ever been done before, IRIS's instrument is a combination of an ultraviolet telescope and a spectrograph. The telescope provides high-resolution images, capturing data on about 1 percent of the sun at a time. The images can resolve very fine features, as small as 150 miles across.


About Princeton Instruments and Acton Optics & Coatings
Princeton Instruments, a subsidiary of Roper Industries (ROP:NYSE), designs and manufactures high-performance CCD, ICCD, and EMCCD cameras; spectrographs; and optics-based solutions for the scientific research, industrial imaging, and OEM communities. We take pride in partnering with our customers to solve their most challenging problems in unique, innovative ways. For more information on Princeton Instruments products, please visit

Princeton Instruments’ Acton Optics & Coatings product line is a specialist in thin film coatings for 120-1100nm wavelength range.  Acton has unique expertise in optical monitoring, coating materials, optical metrology and quality procedures all focused on manufacturing state of the art UV optics & coatings.  Acton Optics & Coatings is ISO 9001:2000 certified and maintains the commitment to provide superior optical products in markets including laser, semiconductor, medical, aerospace, research, imaging and more.


New President Appointed at Princeton Instruments

July 18, 2013

Princeton Instruments (PI), a market leader in scientific cameras, spectrographs, and optics, is pleased to announce the promotion of William Asher to President of Princeton Instruments.  Mr. Asher previously held the position of Vice President of Product Development and Engineering for the past eight years. 

Prior to working at Princeton Instruments, Mr. Asher was General Manager of Balzers Optical Corporation and Executive Vice President of Operations and Engineering at Boston Advanced Technologies and On-Site Analysis.  He received his B.S.M.E. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

 “Princeton Instruments has a storied history of providing the highest quality products and support to the scientific research community and leading edge OEM laboratory equipment manufacturers,” comments Mr. Asher.  “Our product portfolio is the strongest ever and our outstanding staff remains committed to assisting our customers around the world.”