A monochromator is an optical device that selects a wavelength of light or a range thereof. A monochromator-based microplate reader usually bears two monochromators, one for selecting the excitation and one for the emission light.
Monochromators have been an important technology in microplate readers for a number of years. Conventional monochromators relied on mechanical light breaking and filtering, with light passing through a slit, a concave grating, then another slit. This led to only a limited amount of light being transmitted to or from the sample.
BMG LABTECH’s patent Linear Variable Filter Monochromator was engineered especially for the CLARIOstar®. In an LVF monochromator™, the light passes through a linear variable short pass and long pass filter, which by sliding against each other, create the rising and falling edge of the filter. This way, the LVF monochromator can separate the light into distinct wavelengths as well as into continuous adjustable bandwidths. As a unique feature, a Linear Variable Dichroic Mirror (LVDM) slide is used to separate the excitation from the emission light.
Advantages of the LVF Monochromator over conventional monochromators
- 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
Do not compromise sensitivity for flexibility! The LVF monochromators make the CLARIOstar the most sensitive monochromator-based microplate reader on the market. LVF monochromators are the first monochromators with filter-like performance. Since September 2017, BMG LABTECH has received grant for the U.S. Patent 9,733,124, entitled “Microplate Reader with Linear Variable Filter” in the United States.