Pollution of water such as in rivers, oceans, and groundwater causes environmental degradation and health hazards. There are a huge number of substances that can contaminate water, so standard values and measurement methods for the main pollutants in water are prescribed by laws and regulations. Water quality analysis involves several criteria or indicators and measurement techniques. The broad spectrum of xenon flash lamps is utilized to measure the total phosphorus, total nitrogen and other chemical parameters by absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy using UV light.
Optical techniques for atmospheric analysis and gas analysis make use of UV light or infrared light. Gas molecules absorb light at specific wavelengths, so the concentration of a gas can be calculated by measuring its absorbance of light. Xenon flash lamps are ideal for measuring hazardous gases emitted from factory chimneys and for monitoring atmospheric air pollution levels since those applications require a long-life light source needing less maintenance. Other features of xenon flash lamps include stable emission of light that provides measurements with a high signal-to-noise ratio.
Mineral/gemological inspection uses UV light as the excitation light, and the fluorescence or phosphorescence images and spectra are measured to distinguish between natural and artificial materials. The excitation light source must provide high power to efficiently produce fluorescence or phosphorescence which is usually very weak. Using xenon flash lamps as the excitation light source will deliver high throughput.
People perceive light as colors, and each color consists of a specific wavelength. Colorimetry is a useful tool for analyzing and quantifying the color of light by measuring the light intensity at a specific wavelength. Xenon flash lamps with a broad spectrum are widely used in this application to evaluate the quality of various materials such as printed matter, LED displays, foods, pharmaceuticals, films, and optical filters.
Semiconductor manufacturing equipment takes advantage of the high light output of xenon flash lamps such as for wafer defect inspection and endpoint monitoring.
In food inspection, a variety of components and substances such as sugar content, moisture content and foreign matter must be measured to determine the food quality. Xenon flash lamps have a broad spectrum up to the mid-infrared region and generate less heat, making them ideal for determining the quality of food samples without damaging them. Xenon flash lamps are expected to be used for on-site, real-time measurements in future smart agriculture.
In vitro diagnostics that quantitatively measures the components of blood and urine (protein, sugar, oxygen, etc.) is a versatile tool for disease diagnosis and treatment decisions. A measurement method using light absorbance is widely used for in vitro diagnostics. Xenon flash lamps are compact, yet emit a broad spectrum of light that covers the entire wavelength range with a single lamp. This makes it possible to incorporate a lamp into portable analytical instruments, contributing to POCT (point-of-care testing). Xenon flash lamps also generate low heat to provide accurate measurements without thermal effects on the reagents.
UV-visible spectrophotometry enables both quantitative and qualitative analysis of a sample by measuring the absorption, transmission, and reflection spectra of the sample. The broad spectrum of xenon flash lamps allows a single lamp to cover the entire UV-to-visible range.
In high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), the solvent used to separate the components in a liquid sample is called the mobile phase. The mobile phase is delivered by a pump at a constant flow rate from the column (stationary phase) to the detector. The components contained in the liquid sample are separated in the column, and the absorption or fluorescence spectra are measured with the detector placed at the exit of the column to quantify and identify each component. Xenon flash lamps are ideal for fluorescence measurement that requires high intensity of light.
MTP readers are designed to measure absorbance, fluorescence and luminescence spectra of a large number of samples in a microtiter plate, so the high light output of xenon flash lamps is a real advantage in making rapid and accurate measurements. Since thermal effects on the samples under test should be avoided, xenon flash lamps that generate less heat are also a good choice for MTP readers.
Flow cytometry is a technique for analyzing the properties and structure of cells by irradiating a laser beam onto the cells entrained in the fluid flowing rapidly through a flow cell and measuring their scattered light and fluorescence spectra. Imaging flow cytometry combines this flow cytometry with a cell image diagnosis function and utilizes xenon flash lamps to accurately capture images of cells flowing at high speed.
Xenon flash lamps are also ideal as a multi-wavelength infrared light source. Compared to halogen lamps and MEMS infrared light sources, xenon flash lamps generate less heat and emit light with an instantaneously high peak output, making them ideal for applications where high accuracy is required.
NOTE: Light output depends on the detector sensitivity. Use this data as reference for comparison with other infrared light sources.
The halogen lamp light output is corrected so as to correspond to the peak value (flash duration: approx. 6 μs) of the xenon flash lamp.
Xenon flash lamps emit light with an instantaneously high peak output and are also attracting attention as a high-performance deep UV light source that maintains excellent characteristics over a long period of operation.
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