Optimizing Spectral Scanning

Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction (absorption & emission) between matter and light, as a function of the wavelength or frequency of the radiation. It involves the splitting of light into specific wavelengths (a spectrum), done similarly to the way a prism splits light into different colors.

The measurement of this interaction, between light and matter is referred to as Spectrometry. Basically, Spectrometry is a method of studying and measuring the specific spectrum, and is widely used for analysis of materials, chemicals and gasses

Nanomotion designs and manufactures a variety of standard and OEM modules to satisfy a wide range of application requirements to optimize the performance of spectrometers. Depending on requirements, modules are configured for ground based stationary spectrometers, hand-held portable spectrometers and even flight rated devices for counter measure devices and airborne analysis.

At the core of a Fourier Transform (FTIR) Spectrometer is a Michelson interferometer that dictates the precise scanning of a mirror to collect high resolution spectral data over a wide spectral range.

These mirrors must move with precise velocity control and low angular error in order for the spectral measurement to be accurate.

Nanomotion’s motors and small FB Stages excel at satisfying the motion performance required for Michelson interfermetric based spectrometry.

  • Velocity ranges from 0.03mm/sec to 30mm/sec
  • Velocity uniformity to 0.25%
  • Angular accuracy to 10µrad over 10mm travel
  • Operating temperatures from -10°C to +50°C

OEM designs for hand-held spectrometers are supported by Nanomotion’s small modules, based on our Edge & Edge-4X motors. Modules designed as small, light weight power efficient solutions can meet the most demanding requirements.

The open cavity can range in diameter. Shown here is 18mm high with a ~20mm cavity, with the ability to operate up to 1kHz for rapid scanning.

An alternative to a Michelson interferometer based spectrometer is a Fabry-Perot interferometer. A Fabry-Perot interferometer is based on a pair of partially silvered glass optical flats that are typically spaced a few millimeters apart. This principle relies on the phenomenon of multiple beam interference that arises when light shines through a cavity bound by two reflective parallel surfaces. When the light encounters one of the surfaces, a portion of the light is transmitted out and a portion is reflected back. Piezo actuated flexures are used to maintain the parallelism.

The pair optical flats are aligned with a small travel flexure assembly, configured into a tripod with (3) piezo axes. Each axis has a capacitive sensor for feedback and travel up to 50µm

Nanomotion provides motion solutions for a broad range of spectroscopy applications, including Raman, Mass Spectroscopy, Hyperspectral, Optical and others. The ability to provide constant velocity with low angular error is an enabling capability for new generations of smaller and more precise spectrometers.

For more information, please visit www.nanomotion.com or contact nano@nanomotion.com


Utilizing proprietary technology, Nanomotion designs and manufactures complete motion solutions from start to finish.

Read more about Nanomotion.

Nanomotion’s team consists of engineering resources with more than 100 man years of precision motion control experience. The true measure of reliability is to evaluate our motor performance on a system designed and manufactured by Nanomotion.

For more information, please contact Nanomotion by email, call +1 (631) 585-3000,


Related Articles
panorama image

Velox: Revolutionizing EOIR Camera Payloads for UAVs

EOIR Camera for UAVs Velox is a cutting-edge EOIR camera designed for UAV applications, equipped with high-resolution visible and thermal cameras. It delivers outstanding

Unmatched Precision: Nanomotion’s Gimbal Axis Use and Technology

In the rapidly evolving world of motion control systems Nanomotion leads in motion control with advanced gimbal technology. Designed to redefine precision and stability,

EOIR Gimbals: Transforming AGV, UAV, and UAS Terrain Mastery

The advancements in EO/IR gimbals bring a new level of precision and capability to AGV, UAV, and UAS operations. Through the integration of cutting-edge

Unlock Exclusive Insights

Subscribe Now

By clicking the Subscribe button, you agree to receive advertising content