James, David and I have been discussing what lab tools would be appropriate to have in the new RFC soil + food testing lab (see notes for full details). We came to consensus that a 200 - 2000nm range (or at least 350 - 2000nm) is important because of the decreasing cost of the mid IR (1000 - 2000nm) and known useful applications in that range. If we collect that data now, we may be able to use the collected data in a library in a future miniaturized application.
So, I went looking for some. Here’s the items that fit our specification:
$25 - 30k ?? (waiting on quote) - Perkins Elmer Lambda 950 (175 - 3300nm)
$16k - Perkins Elmer Lambda 900 (175 - 3300nm) - http://www.surplusserver.com/PDF/Lambda800_900_Brochure.pdf for details
$20 - 25k - Stellar net and Thorlabs also have flexible systems where you can put together parts to make a 200 - 2000nm spec, but they aren’t cheaper than integrated systems (22k+), so not sure if it’s worth it. Maybe worth checking used versions to see how much cheaper they’d be - https://www.stellarnet.us/stellarnet-downloads/dual-detector-super-range-spectrometers-systems/
$26k (refurb) - Cary (now Agilent) 5000 and 7000 series (175 - 3300) - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Varian-Cary-5000-UV-VIS-NIR-Spectrophotometer/262966873781?hash=item3d3a0c0eb5:g:Pu8AAOSwjL5ZCzjb
So for that used Lambda 900 looks pretty good. It’s an older model, we’re not super interested in resolution and while noise should be low, we don’t need the newest + greatest.
The other option is to throw a minispec from hamamatsu (350 - 850 (7nm resolution) ) with their mid IR packages (C14272 and C13272-02, 20nm resolution) to cover 1350 - 1850 and word on the street is they’ve got another one which will go to 2150 coming out soon. That would leave a gap between 850 - 1350, and leave out the UV. And we’d need to design the optics, and it would be point based (not like the integrating sphere designs that are done professionally). But then we would have something that we can continue to develop and improve on over time, and someone that we could miniaturize directly in the future. This option would be cheaper, but probably only marginally cheaper after engineering costs.