The MountainSource Hyperchromator is a monochromator especially designed for ISTEQ’s XWS-30 laser pumped plasma light source. This powerful light source has an exceptionally high brightness and is therefore ideally suited for generating monochromatic light in the wavelength range of 190 – 2200 nm (UV/VIS/NIR).

The hyperchromator is perfectly adjusted to the characteristics of the point plasma light source and takes full advantage of its features: With a mirror the light is collected directly from the plasma of the lamp with an aperture of up to f/1.5 – without any loss and without an additional input slit. At the output, the light is coupled into a multimode optical fiber, which allows the hyperchromator to be conveniently integrated into existing systems. This setup takes full advantage of the high brightness and wavelength range of the tunable light source, maximizes light throughput, and delivers high output power.

Key features

  • Various configurations of the monochromator possible
  • Homogeneous allocation of the output power allocation
  • Etendue matched to ISTEQ XWS-30
  • Broad, tunable wavelength range from DUV to NIR
  • No input slit
  • Built-in shutter
  • User-friendly software, Windows GUI, LabView, DLL or RS-232

The Hyperchromator is controlled via USB interface from PC or laptop with user-friendly software. External control and integration into existing systems via LabVIEW, Python etc. is possible as well.

The monochromator features a motorized single grating by default. It can optionally be upgraded with a dual grating for convenient measurements in the full wavelength range of 200 – 2200 nm without a manual change of the grating.
Moreover, the half-width of the output light can be further reduced with an adjustable slit.

The strength of this tunable light source is in applications that require a fast and tunable point light source.


Optical inputISTEQ XWS-30 light source, directly coupled to the monochromator
Optical outputFused silica fiber, SMA or FC, 100-600 µm core, or free beam output with adjustable slit or various collimator options. Spectral power monitoring on request.
Wavelength range185 – 2500 nm*
Aperturef/1.5 or f/2, depending on required resolution and light output
Bandwith1-10 nm FWHM*
Output powerUp to 800 µW
(grating at blaze wavelength, 6 nm bandwidth and 400 µm fiber)
ReproducibilityTyp. 0.1 nm
Scanning Speed40-100 nm/s*
Control InterfaceUSB/RS-232, LabVIEW™-based GUI, various external control options
*depends on choice of grating and other requirements

Operating principle

Usually, monochromators work with an input slit on which the light from the light source is projected. The disadvantage of this approach is the significant loss of light, especially in the UV and deep UV range. In contrast, the Hyperchromator uses the capabilities of the light source by directing the very small laser pumped plasma directly to a mirror without an additional entrance slit, which significantly reduces the loss of light.

Grating options

The half-width of the light is determined, among other things, by the number of lines of the optical grating. Therefore, different gratings can optimize the tunable light source for different applications. Mountain Instruments offers a wide range of optical gratings from 300 – 3600 lines/mm.

The standard design of the Hyperchromator features a single grating that is automatically moved into the correct position by a stepper motor.
For applications requiring a wider wavelength range, an optional motorized dual grating changer is available.

The following example figure shows the output power of the Hyperchromator with the ISTEQ XWS-30 and the use of a grating of 600 lines/mm. The following example figure shows the output power of the Hyperchromator with the ISTEQ XWS-30 and the use of a grating of 600 lines/mm. The light source uses a diode laser to drive the plasma, which emits light from 170 nm over the visible range to the near infrared.

Further light source options

The MountainSource-Hyperchromator has been optimized for the technical specifications of Isteq’s XWS-30 light source. Optionally, other light sources from the XWS series can also be integrated into the monochromator to have a tunable light source: