Public Lab Research note

Using optic fiber to take a picture of multiple light spectrum at the same time

by id022012 | July 10, 2013 12:01 10 Jul 12:01 | #8804 | #8804

Proof of concept: using optic fiber to take a picture of multiple light spectrum at the same time

As I was experimenting with the foldable spectrometer a couple of weeks ago, the idea came to me to carry light to the slit using optic fiber. I decided to stack 2 audio optic fiber strands together in a line and directed the resulting array towards the slit

The resulting image, 2 spectral "lines", spoke by itself: not only optic fibers could be used to obtain measurable spectrum, it could enable measurement of different spectra at the same time (see figure)

This opens the following research avenues:

  • With the proper analysis software, a given light source (i.e. phone LED) could be used as a reference spectra every time a reading is taken on a sample;

  • With an adequate sample vessel, different light sources could be used at the same time to measure the same sample;

  • Again assuming an adequate sample vessel is available, one light source could be used to measure more then one sample at the same time. Not only could the reading come with the reference light source for bandwidth and wavelength adjustment, but a know sample could also be used for comparison.

  • Audio optic fiber cables can be used to divide light signals, but also be to merge them, hence opening the possibility for a composed light source of a larger bandwidth.


The difference in spectra is due to the light source, and won't help you obtain more or better data. If your light source is lacking intensity at a certain wavelength, you could provide additional sources to add additional wavelengths, but I don't see why you would use fiber optics to pipe the light; just combine the light sources (one behind another, or diffuse reflection off a common surface) If a light source is causing over-exposing at a certain wavelength, you might use the optics to reduce the intensity of that light source.

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But it would be a lot easier just to add distance or use a more opaque diffuser to reduce the intensity.

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