Our partner company Cairn Research Ltd. was founded based on a photometry system comprising of a spinning filter wheel illuminated by a xenon arc light source for real-time biological fluorescence measurements. More recently, they have been selling the OptoScan illuminated with a xenon arc light source as well, but using a diffraction grating mounted on a galvanometer with high throughput F/2 corrected optics. A light guide or fiber coupling to all popular microscopes is possible, such as new couplings using large silica-silica single core fibers. The modular design of the OptoScan means that the light source can be removed and used independently as a white light source for fluorescence imaging, if necessary. The device has been designed specifically with real-time biological fluorescence measurements in mind, but has evolved into a truly versatile laboratory tool. If your application requires fast, flexible and automated illumination control, the Cairn OptoScan might be the instrument of choice.
Optimized for Real-Time Experiments
Other commercial monochromators facilitate to change bandwidth between experiments via manual control. This is sufficient for many purposes, but not ideal for complex protocols, especially those involving multiple fluorescence markers. For this very reason, the control of the bandwidth in real-time allows to optimize each excitation wavelength independently during the experiment. This means, if Stoke’s shifts are large or fluorescence intensities are weak, a relatively large bandwidth can be selected to maximize signal-to-noise. Conversely, in case there is a small Stoke’s shift or if the fluorescence intensity is high, the slit width can be minimized to reduce bleed through and optimize the dynamic range.
The OptoScan combined with signal processing modules and optical hardware forms the heart of a powerful standalone micro-photometry system. The monochromator has an external iris diaphragm for manual intensity control and a built-in fast electronic shuttering on all versions. The device can be driven via USB, microprocessor, PCI, digital and analogue control options. In addition, the OptoScan control is currently implemented in a wide range of commercial software packages including MDS MetaFluor/Morph, RSI Neuroplex, Slidebook, MicroManager and Winfluor.
- Fluorescence photometry
- Fluorescence imaging
- Optical scanning
- Sub-millisecond control of center wavelength with microsecond precision
- Sub-millisecond bandwidth control allows spectral and intensity optimization at each wavelength
- Can be used with 75w and 150w Xe lamps
- Modular design means that the light source can be removed and used independently as a white light source if required
- Light guide/ fiber couplings to all popular microscopes
- Optical configuration – enhanced Czerny-Turner configuration with fast F/2 light collection and off-axis parabolic mirrors to minimize aberrations
- Diffraction grating – 1200 line ruled grating blazed for broad UV/visible range, 1800 and 2000 line holographic gratings for demanding applications
- Wavelength resolution – 300-800nm specified with 0.5nm resolution @ ±1.5nm accuracy
- Bandwidth resolution – 0-30nm specified with 0.1nm resolution @ ±0.2nm accuracy
- Wavelength switching – 200nm transition <1.5ms, 50nm transitions in <1ms
- Bandwidth switching – Typical transition times of <1.5ms for both input and exit slits
- Digital shuttering (TTL) – Typically <2ms (depending on bandwidth)
- Built in fast electronic shuttering on all versions