Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Halogen lamp Spectrum

  1. Apr 26, 2017 #1
    12V, 50W, MR16 halogen lamp spectrum is measured as shown ('B') with our newly developed mini-spectrometer having resolution ~1nm. But in internet it was similar to 'A' (We don't know how much resolution spectrometer they've used). Could anybody let me know what exactly the spectrum look like when measured with ~1nm resolution spectrometer (A or B) and why?

    just check the below link for more understanding

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2017 #2

    Charles Link

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    It's a little hard to determine from just looking at the data provided. Suggestion would be to try measuring the spectral transmission curves ## \tau(\lambda) ## vs. ## \lambda ## of some optical filters by taking ## \tau(\lambda)=I(\lambda)_{source \, with \, filter}/I(\lambda)_{ source \, without \, filter} ## and comparing to the manufacturer's curves. If you get good results with that, it would demonstrate to some degree the quality of your spectral measurement apparatus.
  4. Apr 29, 2017 #3
    Overlaying "OURS" and "OTHERS" images indicates someone is either compensating for optical fiber transmission when they shouldn't be or not compensating when they should be. Or maybe you got the sign of the correction wrong.

    Interesting in any case. Please let us know what you find.

  5. May 3, 2017 #4
    HI Tom!

    Thanks for the info. Following is more accurate image data for comparison.

    The waviness pattern is exactly same, we felt that the performance of our spectrometer is matching to that of our competitor,
    but in internet the spectrum would be something like the following.

    I still didn't why is this waviness?

    I inquired about it to concerned spectrometer manufacturer, they replied that it could be due to etalon effects caused by the glass window placed on to the linear CCD array. But the thing is we don't have any glass window on to the CCD array. I didn't understand what is that etalon effect.

    Pls help.

    Attached Files:

  6. May 3, 2017 #5
    For a quick tutorial on the etalon effect see:


    The CCD probably does have a window over the sensor chip itself for mechanical and environmental protection. It is rare to purchase a packaged chip (one with pins or solder bumps) that is not sealed. Bare chips are available directly from the chip foundries for use in very high volume products, They are then mounted directly to a circuit board and covered with a spot of epoxy. The total cost of the assembled product is a few pennies lower that way. But mounting and connecting is not usually a hand operation and the machinery is a bit pricey.

    edit: A somewhat closer examination of the above link shows etalon effect is NOT likely your problem. Your peaks are too far apart. So the below would not be applicable. end edit

    Take a close look at your sensor and talk to the manufacturer to get details. If they acknowledge a flat window, ask for the thickness, then, using the formula in the above link, see if the calculations match your effects.

    If it is a flat window, maybe they can supply a wedge window on the sensor.
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  7. May 3, 2017 #6
    The two plots you supplied for "OURS" in messages #1 and #3 are different. Message #1 shows a peak at 618nm but in message #3 it has shifted to 590nm. What changed?

    You could ask the supplier of the "OTHER" plot what caused the ripples and if they are not real, can they be filtered out in software or removable with a calibration. I suspect the ripples are a common instrumentation artifact and published halogen lamp spectra have been corrected, probably automatically in the spectrometer.
  8. May 3, 2017 #7
    Plot 'OURS' in message #3 is correct, pls ignore plot in #1 msg. I just calibrated the spectrometer.

    I asked the 'OTHERS' i.e., Thorlabs, they just said it was due to etalon effects. I too feel it might not not be the reason. We are very sure that we are using CCD without glass window.

    Pls check I'm just sharing the other spectra too.
  9. May 3, 2017 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Those graphs are so like what you get with a mismatched RF transmission line. The peaks would suggest that the standing wave is formed between two interfaces, separated by an order of magnitude of about a wavelength (?). That, presumably is your 'etalon effect'. The mismatch reflections are not too strong as the 'standing wave ratio' is only about 20%. I guess the situation could be improved by coating (blooming) each face. A cheaper solution would be to cancel out the variations of the data. numerically
  10. May 3, 2017 #9

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Why not use your spectrometer to examine a standard- for example, the sun? Or an incandescent bulb.... Then you will know if your instrument has artifacts or not.
  11. May 3, 2017 #10

    Charles Link

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The wavy lines in he spectrum do look like some kind of "thin film"=etalon effect. Perhaps there is some kind of thin film coating layered onto your detector. @Andy Resnick has a good suggestion to test the spectrometer with an incadescent bulb.
  12. May 3, 2017 #11
    So far, consensus points toward the etalon effect. Is there anything other than air or vacuum between the grating and the sensor? To test the sensor , tilt the sensor so its active surface is not perpendicular to the light coming from the grating. Rotate the sensor around its long axis, keeping that axis fixed in relation to the grating. After re-calibrating, if the peak wavelengths are shifted and/or drastically changed in amplitude, that would confirm a sensor etalon effect. (If, by chance, they disappear, you have found a fix.:smile:)

    As @Charles Link said: "Perhaps there is some kind of thin film coating layered onto your detector."
    Likely. For protection from the environment (principally water vapor and mechanical damage), semiconductor chips are generally passivated near the end of the manufacturing process. Passivation is done by coating the surface with a thin layer of Silicon Dioxide (SiO2), also known as Silica or Quartz. That could be the etalon source.
  13. May 3, 2017 #12
    @Charles Link the sensor is TCD1304 (with glass window removed), which I don't this it has some coating on it. Incandescent spectrum is found very similar to that of halogen lamp.The competitors (others except Thorlabs) claim that they use the same TCD1304, but their halogen spectrum seem to be flat i.e., without waviness.

    Following is are the spectra with different light sources.

    @Tom.G The Detector (CCD) tilting experiment, I'm gonna do it now. I'll share the observations

    Spectrometer is of Czerny Turner configuration. I doubt the reflected light (very small amount) from front and back surfaces of the plane grating/colimating mirror/
    focusing mirrors would have crated an interference pattern and appended on the flat smooth curve (of course this is just like etalon effect, but from other optical components, not from coating surface). What are your thoughts on this? I'm trying to find a way to test this.
  14. May 4, 2017 #13
    I would have expected front-surface mirrors without any hard-coating. If you are using second surface mirrors or first surface with a hard-coat, I think you have found your etalon(s)! The only way I can think of at the moment to test this is try some non-coated, front-surface mirrors.

    @sophiecentaur noticed that the ripple amplitude was about 20%. That matches rather well with the rule-of-thumb of 4% reflectance from a glass-air interface.

    To get an idea of surface reflectance, shine a LASER beam on a second surface mirror at a shallow angle. Aim the reflected beam on a white surface several feet away. You will see two spots next to each other with one of them very dim. That dim spot is from the front surface of the mirror. In addition to creating the etalon effect, this smears the intended spot to the next few pixels of your sensor, degrading the SNR (Signal-to-Noise-Ratio) of your system. Be aware that even the metal coating on a mirror has a spectral sensitivity +-5% over the visible band so calibration is needed at a few wavelengths. And of course it changes as the exposed metal surface oxidizes from exposure to the air. (several years?) That's why large astronomical observatories have their own on-site mirror coating facilities.
    end edit:
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  15. May 4, 2017 #14
    @Tom.G Mirrors are having hard coating on its front surface.
  16. May 4, 2017 #15


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Without paper n pencil, I can't estimate the thickness of the layer to produce that ripple spacing but it can't be more than 1micron. Does that not give a clue as to what / where it is?
    The logic has to indicate that, if the same effect happens for more than one source, it has to be the sensor. Doesn't the spec sheet give a clue?
  17. May 4, 2017 #16
    Perhaps I mis-interpreted that statement. I took it to mean that they are back-surface mirrors.

    However this statement implies that they are front-surface mirrors.
    A clarification please?

    I finally came up with a way to test the mirrors:
    Use some of them to reflect the light source several times before the light beam enters the spectrometer. If the ripple amplitude shows a significient change, they are a problem source.
  18. May 4, 2017 #17

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

  19. May 5, 2017 #18
    @Andy Resnick When I adjust the slit width, the waviness is reduced at the cost of resolution. But the resolution is too worst that we can not use this technique.

    @Tom.G I tilted the CCD and found variation in spectrum pattern (waviness at other regions, amplitude differences..etc), it may be due to combined effect of 'etalon (we suspect) and out of focus).

    I found following paper pls have a look.

    I just pointed the CCD surface with laser pointer and observed as below. (just for ur info)

    This particular CCD have glass on its surface.
    1) If I point the light on glass plate --pattern is not forming
    2) Pattern is forming only, when I point light on to the pixels (CCD pixel size 8um, beam dia ~2-3mm)
    3)Pattern is circular
    4) Patten have fringes with increasing gap

    From all the above I feel the the waviness is due to "diffraction caused by the CCD pixels randomly reflected/scattered into the spectrometer/detector section and that made this". But still need to confirm this, most importantly Solve this.

    Attached Files:

  20. May 5, 2017 #19

    Charles Link

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    In this paper the author discusses slit width and he says you adjust the slit width to "1 nm". He is actually referring to the resolution ## \Delta \lambda=d \frac{\Delta x}{f } ## where ## d ## is the distance between grooves on the grating, and ## \Delta x ## is the slit width. ## f ## is the focal length of the focusing mirror in the spectrometer. A good slit width ## \Delta x ## is normally about 100 microns.
  21. May 5, 2017 #20
    It is unclear if the second image is the result of the 'tilt' test. Testing with the tilted sensor needs to be done with a continuous spectrum, as from a halogen lamp. This will show if the ripple peaks shift wavelength when the light goes thru a different thickness of any layer on or in the sensor. Do you have that data?

    It looks like we are down to etalon effect somewhere in the optical chain and/or diffraction in the sensor. If it is in the sensor the only way I see to correct it is in a final calibration with the correction done in software. That would probably mean each a correction file included with each machine.

    If the cause is etalon somewhere in the optical chain, then we are back to finding and eliminating the effect, or using a correction file as above.

    I have only had a chance for a briefl look at the articles mentioned above. I will read them in the next few days and see if anything else comes to mind.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: Halogen lamp Spectrum
  1. A Spectrum (Replies: 4)

  2. Halogen bulbs (Replies: 3)

  3. Color of halogens (Replies: 2)