Many analytical instruments rely on optical detection methods. Yet, optical laboratory equipment by itself is a very diverse field. Depending on the employed analytical methods, different optical equipment and corresponding optical elements with different performance levels are required. As the equipment design depends on the individual supplier, we discuss some basic components of optical lab equipment and spare parts or auxiliary equipment, that could make a difference in performance.
The performance of optical components of fused silica as view ports, windows or lenses depends foremost on the optical finishing and potentially on the coating. However, choosing the right fused silica can make a difference as well. Absorption in the ppm / cm range can be significant for sensitive measurements.
Optical diffusers are used to homogenize the beam of a light source, as a cosine corrector for detectors or as an inner layer for integrating spheres. The ideal diffuser has a Lambertian scattering characteristic, that means the intensity of a reflected beam depends on the cosine of the viewed angle. For many applications optical diffusers need to be easy to clean in addition to their good optical properties. Fused silica diffusers have a good chemical stability, but some have an open porosity (which could lead to the introduction of contaminates, and therefore to a deteriorating signal).
Our HOD® is a volume diffuser of high purity fused silica. Volume diffuser means that the reflection and transmission intensity depend on the thickness of the diffuser. It has a very good Lambertian angular intensity dependence, and a closed porosity that allows for easy cleaning.
Want to find out which material is suitable for your application? Please use our Material Selection Guide .