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LightField 5.0 Next-Generation Scientific Imaging and Spectroscopy Software

April 28, 2015

Princeton Instruments has drawn upon its decades of application expertise and close interactions with researchers around the world to create LightField® scientific imaging and spectroscopy software. Destined to become a benchmark software tool in academic and industrial R&D settings, LightField allows users to take full advantage of the unrivaled capabilities of award-winning Princeton Instruments cameras and spectrographs.

LightField 5

The first major upgrade of this powerful software, LightField version 5.0, incorporates hundreds of enhancements and exclusive features. Among these user-friendly advancements are an all-new ‘math engine’ for analyzing 64-bit data in real-time, an improved ‘smart search’ that directs users to the controls they want as they are typing, an interactive ‘virtual optical bench’ for conveniently managing multiple experiment setups, and automatic export of data in a wide variety of popular formats. LightField 5.0 even allows seamless integration of hardware controls and direct data acquisition into National Instruments’ LabVIEW® and MathWorks’ MATLAB®.

LightField supports all of the latest Princeton Instruments hardware, including IntelliCal® spectral-calibration light sources. When paired with LightField’s fully automated point-by-point wavelength and intensity calibration, IntelliCal offers up to 10x improvement in wavelength accuracy as well as NIST-traceable, instrument-independent intensity data. For time-resolved imaging and spectroscopy applications, LightField provides users with an intuitive ‘oscilloscope-like’ timing interface to PI-MAX®4 ICCD cameras for easy synchronization and gating controls.

“Whether your application is spectroscopy, Raman, fluorescence, photoluminescence, combustion, quantum imaging, astronomy, or x-ray imaging, LightField 5.0 software offers a modern, intelligent interface that places full control of your system and your data at your fingertips,” explains Ravi Guntupalli, vice president of sales and marketing for Princeton Instruments. “For example, LightField’s math engine allows you to apply simple math functions or perform complex operations such as Fast Fourier Transform [FFT] to either live or post-acquisition data. Measurements such as absorption, reflectance, and transmission can be performed right out of the box. You can also export data into popular formats such as TIFF, FITS, ASCII, AVI, IGOR [WaveMetrics, Inc.], and Origin® [OriginLab Corporation]. We believe it has never been easier to control, acquire, and analyze data.”

Princeton Instruments LightField 5.0 is compatible with Microsoft® 64-bit Windows® 7 and 8 operating systems. A free 45-day trial version can be downloaded from the Princeton Instruments website at:

Int'l Conference on Advanced Vibrational Spectroscopy

ICAVS - Int'l Conference on Advanced Vibrational Spectroscopy

July 12 - 17, 2015

Vienna, Austria 

Advances in Modern Magnetic Materials

Advances in Modern Magnetic Materials
June 17 19, 2015
Diamond Light Source
Oxfordshire, UK

More information:

Optical Wave and Waveguide Theory Workshop

Optical Wave and Waveguide Theory Workshop
City University - London
April 17-18, 2015
More information: 

New, High-Speed EMCCD Cameras Provide Exceptional Low-Light

Princeton Instruments is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the ProEM®-HS line of high-speed EMCCD cameras with patented eXcelon®3 technology (X3) for low-light imaging and spectroscopy applications.This advanced back-illuminated EMCCD technology offers combination of high quantum efficiency (>95% QE), best fringe suppression in the near infrared and single-photon sensitivity.



Visit the ProEM product page for complete information


Enabled by its rapid (20 MHz) ADC readout capability and 300 nsec/row vertical shift speed, the new
ProEM-HS:512BX3 model delivers > 60 full frames per second. Furthermore, this next-generation camera provides >1,000 fps in imaging mode and >10,000 fps utilizing special high-speed, custom readout modes. Operation is made simple by Princeton Instruments’ powerful, intuitive and user friendly LightField® software.


Thanks to all-metal, hermetic vacuum seal technology that comes with the industry’s only lifetime vacuum guarantee, these ProEM-HS cameras are thermoelectrically cooled to below -90°C using air and liquid for worry-free operation. Other advanced features include a built-in light source for precise electron multiplication (EM) gain calibration, as well as excellent baseline stability, hardware time-stamping, and a Gigabit Ethernet data interface.


“When we set out to design our next-generation ProEM cameras, we knew it would be a tall order,” reflects Ravi Guntupalli, vice president of sales and marketing at Princeton Instruments. “Yet our engineering team not only managed to make these cameras two times faster but also improved their noise performance — even at lower speeds. This is one of the best EMCCD camera offerings on the market for low-light imaging and spectroscopy applications such as single-molecule fluorescence [SMF], astronomy, Bose-Einstein condensates [BECs], and plasma studies.”


New ProEM-HS cameras are fully compatible with Princeton Instruments’ LightField 64-bit application software, which provides complete control of camera features via a cutting-edge graphical user interface. For researchers requiring a custom interface, toolkits for National Instruments’ LabVIEW® and MathWorks’ MATLAB® are available, as are free software development kits (SDKs). The new high-speed EMCCD cameras have also been designed for easy integration with award-winning Princeton Instruments IsoPlane® spectrographs to further leverage their excellent imaging and spectroscopic performance.

IsoPlane and PIXIS used to explore the optical properties of gold nanoparticle arrays

Princeton Instruments congratulates Prof. Jing Zhao of the University of Connecticut on the recent publication of  “Blue Shifted Narrow Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance from Dipole Coupling in Gold Nanoparticles Random Arrays” (J. Phys. Chem. C, 2014, DOI: 10.1021/jp508181g).

Dr. Zhao and her co-workers used a Princeton Instruments IsoPlane SCT-320 aberration-corrected spectrograph in conjunction with a Pixis:1024BR deep cooled CCD camera to explore the optical properties of gold nanoparticle arrays. In these self-assembled nanostructures, long-range dipole coupling is shown to profoundly influence the peak wavelength and width of the surface plasmon resonance peak. Figure 1 (below), for example, shows light scattering spectra of identical gold nanoparticles deposited on a surface, isolated as single particles, or in bulk solution. Highly specific methods for functionalizing gold NPs to bind to different molecules are now available. Hence, the sensitivity of the optical properties to the local dielectric environment, as modified by the presence of bound or adsorbed target molecules, points toward the use of functionalized gold NP arrays as exquisitely sensitive probes for chemical sensing by optical imaging and spectroscopy.

 1, for example, shows light scattering spectra of identical gold nanoparticles deposited on a surface, isolated as single particles, or in bulk solution.

IsoPlane and NIRvana used in recent biophotonic nanotube research

Dan Heller and coworkers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center describe important advances in noncovalent functionalization of carbon nanotubes in a recent issue of Journal of the American Chemical Society (DOI: 10.1021/ja505529n). Carbon nanotubes are uniquely valuable biophotonic probes due to their intense, non-quenchable emission within the NIR-SWIR tissue transparency window from 900-1600 nm. Encapsulating CNTs with helical polymers enables switchable modulation of the photoluminescence intensity and excitonic energy transfer between individual CNTs, as shown in [Figure S5 from Supporting Information] . The researchers used a Princeton Instruments IsoPlane SCT-320 spectrograph and Pio-NIR (now NIRvana) imaging InGaAs detector in this work.

Figure S5. Photoluminescence of nanotubes undergoing INEET.
A) Photoluminescence excitation/emission (PL) plots of Amine-Poly-5-SWCNTs, Carboxy-Poly-6-SWCNTs, and a 1:1 mixture of the two. After mixing and incubation of the mixture for 40 hours, emission peaks in the short wavelength excitation/long wavelength emission range (circled and numbered 1 and 2) were enhanced. B) Spectra showing distinct enhancement of emission peaks (at 1200 nm and 1280 nm) upon excitation of the polycarbodiimide-SWCNTs mixture at 551 nm. Emission peaks resulting from EET in the experiment were compared with the spectra constructed by mathematical addition of individual amine and carboxylic acid polymer-encapsulated SWCNT. The spectra were extracted from the PL plots shown in A. C) PL plot from mathematical addition of individual amine and carboxylic acid polymer-SWCNTs, and D) An expanded region in PL plot of the mixture in A.



Acton Optics & Coatings Announces New Sales Representation in California

Acton Optics & Coatings is pleased to announce that it has expanded its sales network on the West Coast by entering into an agreement with Silvaco Optics to sell their finished optics and optical coating products in California.

Jim Diamond, Business Unit Manager at Acton Optics explains, “I am confident that with Peter Silva of Silvaco on board, we will continue to improve our sales and customer support to our contacts in the vital California region.”

Acton Optics & Coatings, part of Princeton Instruments, designs and manufactures precision UV optics and coatings and can provide mirrors, filters, lenses, beam splitters and other components that operate from 120nm – 1064nm.  Acton has a full offering of standard off-the-shelf components or can provide custom build-to-print optics to support OEM customer needs.  For more information go to or call 978-263-3584.

Silvaco Optics is based in San Jose, California and has supported the optical needs of customers in this territory for over 25 years.  Please contact Peter Silva by phone at 408-937-5665 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Monitoring of Singlet Oxygen in individual cells made simple by NIRvana: 640, Princeton Instruments 2D array InGaAs camera

Princeton Instruments is pleased to recognize the innovative work of the Optical Spectroscopy Group headed by Jan Hála within the Department of Chemical Physics and Optics at Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic). A recently published paper* in Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences details the group’s development of a new experimental setup that enables direct microspectroscopic monitoring of singlet oxygen using NIRvana: 640, a 2D-array InGaAs camera specially designed for scientific research with excellent linearity and near-infrared sensitivity (Marek Scholz, Roman Dědic, Jan Valenta, Thomas Breitenbach and Jan Hála: Real-time luminescence microspectroscopy monitoring of singlet oxygen in individual cells, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2014,13, 1203-1212, DOI: 10.1039/C4PP00121D).

Singlet oxygen, the first excited state of molecular oxygen, is a highly reactive species that plays an important role in a wide range of biological processes, including cell signaling, immune response, macromolecule degradation, and elimination of neoplastic tissue during photodynamic therapy. Often, a photosensitizing process is employed to produce singlet oxygen from ground state oxygen.

The researchers at Charles University in Prague utilized two detection channels (VIS and NIR) to perform real-time imaging of the very weak near-infrared phosphorescence of singlet oxygen and photosensitizer simultaneously with visible fluorescence of the photosensitizer. Their new experimental setup enables acquisition of spectral images based on singlet oxygen and photosensitizer luminescence from individual cells, where one dimension of the image is spatial and the other is spectral, covering a spectral range from 500 to 1700 nm.

To achieve these results, a Princeton Instruments NIRvana® 640, 2D InGaAs camera was coupled to an imaging spectrograph (Acton SpectraPro® 2500i, Princeton Instruments). According to Dr. Marek Scholz, the main advantage of the near-infrared–sensitive NIRvana camera over previously utilized 1D InGaAs detectors is the NIRvana detection array’s two-dimensionality, which leads to a dramatic reduction of acquisition times and avoids some of the problems caused by photobleaching of the sample. A back-illuminated, silicon CCD camera (Spec-10:400B, Princeton Instruments) was used to detect visible light in the setup.


singlet oxygen experimental setup
Experimental setup includes a Princeton Instruments NIRvana: 640 2D InGaAs camera coupled to a SpectraPro 2500 spectrograph.


Scholz et al. indicate that the introduction of spectral images for such studies addresses the issue of a potential spectral overlap of singlet oxygen phosphorescence with NIR-extended luminescence of the photosensitizer and provides a powerful tool for distinguishing and separating them, which can be applied to any photosensitizer manifesting NIR luminescence.

* DOI: 10.1039/c4pp00121d [!divAbstract]

For more information, please refer to

New Intensified CCD Camera Provides Quadruple the Resolution of Other Available ICCD Camera Systems!

Princeton Instruments is pleased to introduce a new member of the PI-MAX®4 family of scientific ICCD cameras:
PI-MAX4:2048f, the world’s first 2k x 2k resolution fiber-optically coupled, intensified camera. In addition to the proven technological advancements of the remarkably precise and intelligent PI-MAX4 platform, the PI-MAX4:2048f provides an impressive four times the resolution of any other available intensified CCD camera.PI-MAX4:2048f

“The large 27.6 mm x 27.6 mm imaging area of the new PI-MAX4:2048f ICCD camera is truly a compelling advantage, as it allows significantly more data collection for experiments in which time is critical and the samples themselves may have been difficult to procure,” explains Scott Young, Imaging Product Manager at Princeton Instruments. “Key application areas include shock wave physics, neutron research, combustion studies, and planar laser-induced fluorescence [PLIF]. This state-of-the-art camera will provide more publication-ready data in less time, enabling researchers to focus on science instead of their equipment.”

The highly sensitive PI-MAX4:2048f, with Gen II or Gen III filmless intensifiers, is the only ICCD camera on the market today to offer high frame rates at 6 MHz / 16-bit digitization, as well as a 1 MHz sustained gating repetition rate. An integrated programmable timing generator, SuperSynchro, built into the new camera makes it ideal for time-resolved imaging and spectroscopy applications.

Furthermore, the latest Princeton Instruments LightField® data acquisition software, available as an option, affords complete control over all PI-MAX4 hardware features via an exceptionally intuitive user interface. LightField provides precision exposure control and a host of innovative functions for easy capture and export of imaging and spectral data.

The PI-MAX4:2048f joins the renowned Princeton Instruments PI-MAX4 family, an impressive product line, whose members include cameras capable of <500 picosecond gating, the world’s first emICCD cameras that combine EMCCD and ICCD technologies to deliver single-photon sensitivity with gating capabilities, and advanced “RF” cameras for frequency-domain imaging applications.  Visit for more information.