The USB4000 plug and play spectrometer

The USB4000 is the world‘s most popular spectrometer…And there is a reason!

The USB4000 is a powerful, rugged, utilitarian instrument which is highly cost effective. The USB4000 has been used for literally tens of thousands of various optical and spectral sensing tasks. The design includes an advanced detector array plus powerful high speed electronics. The detector array is a 3648 pixel array for excellent spectral resolution and the electronics provide a 300:1 signal to noise response. There is a 16 bit A/D, four triggering options, a dark current correction features and a 22 pin connector with eight user programmable GPIOs. Also, with the operational software, Spectra­Soft, USB4000 spectrometers can be operated with computers having Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems.

USB4000 LightPath

Operation of the USB4000 can be noted by referring to the cut-away diagram.

  1. Fiber input line brings the signal into the spectrometer.
  2. Entrance slit whose size can be specified.
  3. An optional filter
  4. Collimating mirror
  5. Grating where wavelength range can be factory adjusted
  6. Focusing mirror
  7. Optional detector collection lens may be installed
  8. Detector array
  9. OFLV order sorting filter if used
  10. Upgrade to extend the detector response into the UV

These parts combine to make a highly effective spectrometer.


Dimensions (in mm): 89.1 × 63.3 × 34.4
Weight: 190 grams
Detector: Toshiba TCD1304AP linear CCD array (page 17)
Detector range: 200-1100 nm
Pixels: 3648 pixels
Pixel size: 8 µm x 200 µm
Pixel well depth: —100,000 electrons
Sensitivity: 130 photons/count at 400 nm;
60 photons/count at 600 nm
Sensitivity: 130 photons/count at 400 nm;
60 photons/count at 600 nm
Design: f/4, Asymmetrical crossed Czerny-Turner
Focal length: 42 mm input; 68 mm output
Entrance aperture: 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, or 200 µm wide slit or fiber (page 15)
Grating options: 14 gratings, UV through Shortwave NIR (page 16)
Fiber optic connector: SMA 905 to 0.22 numerical aperture single-strand fiber
Wavelength range: Grating dependent
Optical resolution: −0.3 - 10.0 nm FWHM
Signal-to-noise ratio: 300:1 (at full signal)
A/D resolution: 16 bit
Dark noise: 50 RMS counts
Dynamic range: 2 x 108 (system); 1300:1 for a single acquisition
Integration time: 3.8 ms to 10 seconds
Stray light: <0.05% at 600 nm; <0.10% at 435 nm
Corrected linearity: >99.8%
Power consumption: 250 mA @ 5 VDC
Data transfer speed: Full spectrum to memory every 5 ms with USB 2.0 port, 18 ms with USB 1.1 port
Inputs/Outputs: Yes, 8 onboard digital user-programmable GPIOs
Analog channels: No
Trigger modes: 4 modes
Strobe functions: Yes
Operating systems: Windows, MacOS and Linux with USB port; Any Windows OS with serial port
Computer interfaces: USB 2.0 @ 480 Mbps; RS-232 (2-wire) @ 115.2 K baud
Peripheral interfaces: SPI (3-wire); l2C inter-integrated circuit

Spectrometer variations

Choosing the spectrometer that's right for the task usually depends upon the range and resolution needed. Typi­cally, such a choice is based upon the slit size (resolution), the grating (spectral range) and what detector is better. Also the availability of various options can provide a user with great flexibility. Spectral ranges start at 210 nm and can extend toward 1100 nm.

In a trade-off between range and resolution, a USB4000's range can be maximized with a typical resolution of ~1½ nm. Whereas, if a high resolution near ½ nm is wanted to better view a certain part of the spectrum, a shorter range, say about 200 nm, will result. For assistance in defining range and resolution, send an E-mail enquiry to Ancal with the needs specified.

Often it is better to choose a precon­figured USB4000 spectrometer. There are two preconfigured USB4000 spec­trometers, one of which may be right for a user. The USB4000-UV-VIS is preconfigured with a UV detector up­grade to cover the spectral range from 200 nm to 850 nm with a nominal resolution of 1.5 nm; the USB4000-VIS-NIR is preconfigured to cover the spectral range from 350 nm to 1000 nm with a nominal resolution of 1.5 nm. These two spectrometers provide users with standard responses plus the convenience of "off-the-shelf" ordering. Also, by choice of various input acces­sories, these spectrometers can be ap­plied to measuring tasks as different as absorbance measurements and color reflectance determinations.


USB4000 USB4000 Plug-and-Play Miniature Fiber Optic Spectrometer 6,132.00
USB4000-FL USB4000 Preconfigured for Fluorescence 6,614.00
USB4000-FL-395 USB4000-FL Preconfigured for Fluorescence, w/ USB-LS-395 7,850.00
USB4000-FL-450 USB4000-FL Preconfigured for Fluorescence, w/ USB-LS-450 7,850.00
USB4000-UV-VIS USB4000 Preconfigured for General Lab Use, 200-850 nm 7,144.00
USB4000-VIS-NIR USB4000 Preconfigured for General Lab Use, 350-1000 nm 6,896.00

Prices are in US dollars - Prices subject to change without notice - Products are FOB Ancal, California

All the spectrometers listed above are preconfigured except for the basic USB4000. The basic USB4000 needs slit and range specified.

For more information on the USB4000-FL spectrometers, click here.


To order, you may email an order to, you may fax Ancal an order to 602-532-7018. or use the form below.

As an authorized distributor of Ocean Insights products, Ancal can process orders for most items manufactured by Ocean Insights. Ocean Insights items may be shipped from Ancal or may be shipped directly from Ocean Insights.

Please be aware that in some cases, such as in sales to new customers or for special items, pre-payment of the order may be required.

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