A comparison of prism-based spectrographs to grating-based spectrographs is made when each of the systems is coupled to a modern-day liquid-nitrogen-cooled photovoltaic array detector. A comparison of the systems is also made using a room-temperature microbolometer array detector. Finally, infrared microspectroscopy of samples whose size is ~10 micrometers will be demonstrated using a prism spectrograph outfitted with both types of detectors. The results of the study show that prism-based spectrographs offer an economical alternative to grating-based systems when spectral coverage is more critical than spectral resolution. The results also demonstrate that spectra with good signal-to-noise ratios can be collected on any of the systems with a total integration time of 10 seconds or less.

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