Microplate Reading Technology

BMG LABTECH has become a world leader in microplate reading systems due to continuous integration of new and unique technology. Much of our newest technology has been implemented based on our customers' suggestions. In essence, it is our customers that drive innovation and advancement of our microplate readers. Some of our technological advancements include:

technology > Microplate Reading Technology

LVF Monochromators

BMG LABTECH's LVF Monochromators™

The Revolutionary Next-Generation Monochromator Technology with Filter-Like Performance

The monochromator is an optical device that selects a specific wavelength of light by mechanical movement of a light filtering stage. A monochromator-based microplate reader usually bears two monochromators, one for selecting the excitation and one for the emission light.

So far there have been two generations of monochromators on the market. BMG LABTECH pioneered the next one!

Schematic diagram of the LVF Monochromator

  • 1st generation: The "classic" monochromator selects a wavelength by passing broadband light through a slit, a concave grating, then another slit. This is needed in order to split up the light and block unwanted wavelengths. Due to light diffraction, only a limited amount of the light is transmitted through the monochromator to the sample in the microplate, or from the sample to the detector. Another consequence of internal light reflections is high stray light (undesired wavelengths of light that leak through the slit).
  • 2nd generation: The so-called dual, double monochromator has two classical monochromators built in series (one after the other). It is also referred as a quad/quadruple monochromator as a reader bears 4 monochromators, two for excitation and two for emission. A wavelength is selected by passing broadband light through a first monochromator. In order to decrease stray light, a second monochromator is positioned after the first one, with a second series of grating and slits. Because of “double” diffraction and light filtering, only a small amount of light reaches the sample in the microplate and the detector.
  • Next generation: The Linear Variable Filter (LVF) monochromator, engineered especially for the CLARIOstar®. BMG LABTECH's advanced monochromator system consists of two LVF Monochromators, one for excitation and one for emission. In a LVF monochromator, light passes through a linear variable short pass and a linear variable long pass filter which respectively create the rising and falling edge of the filter. This way the LVF monochromator separates light into distinct wavelengths (320 to 850 nm) and continuously adjustable bandwidths (8 to 100 nm). In addition, a Linear Variable Dichroic Mirror (LVDM) slide is used to separate the excitation from the emission light.

Compared to 1st and 2nd generation monochromators, BMG LABTECH's advanced LVF monochromators offer the following advantages:

  • Highest light transmission for filter-like performance
  • Outstanding blocking of unwanted stray light for best performance and lowest background noise
  • Continuously adjustable bandwidth from 8 to 100 nm in 1 nm steps – provides 93 different bandwidths for highest flexibility
  • Broader bandwidths (> 25 nm) for higher sensitivity, especially in luminescence
  • Combined use of filters and monochromators (e.g., excite with a filter and scan the emission with the LVF monochromator, or vice versa)
  • Elimination of the stray light issues found in conventional monochromators

BMG LABTECH's LVF monochromators make the CLARIOstar the most sensitive monochromator-based microplate reader on the market.

Do not compromise performance for flexibility! The LVF monochromators from BMG LABTECH are the first monochromators with filter-like performance!

Do not compromise flexibility for performance! The LVF monochromators from BMG LABTECH are the first monochromators with extreme wavelength and bandwidth flexibility!