Abstract

Calibrating the wavelength scale of an array spectrometer typically involves measurements of lines at well-known wavelengths from a calibration lamp such as a mercury–argon source. This process is relatively straightforward when the lines are well separated, relative to the bandwidth of the spectrometer. When the spectrometer's bandwidth is large, compared with the distance between calibration wavelengths, it becomes increasingly difficult to accurately locate lines in the calibration spectrum. Even calibrations for instruments with a modest bandwidth of 12 nm can be difficult. Here we present results from a simple approach to improve the accuracy of wavelength calibration for an instrument with a large bandwidth (12 nm, center-to-center pixel spacing 3.3 nm). A monochromator has been used to filter the source so that each calibration line can be measured separately. For ten spectrometers, we were able to achieve accuracy better than 0.12 nm, or 0.09 nm on average; this is less than 3% of the pixel spacing. We anticipate this approach will be useful for improving the accuracy of measurements on array spectrometers and particularly in transferring multivariate calibrations between instruments.

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