Our wide range of integrating spheres is used to create diffuse light radiation from directional light radiation or to collect the radiation of strongly divergent light sources. Within our series of general-purpose integrating spheres with 3 or 4 ports, you find a broad selection of different models, suitable for various requirements. Spheres with diameters from 2.5 cm up to 1.5 m are available, with a choice of reflectance materials or coatings.
For quick and easy start-up, general purpose starter kits are conveniently packaged with the most common port accessories, adaptors, and integrating sphere mounting components to help you get started. To build your complete light radiation measurement solution, choose from a multitude of interchangeable accessories including light sources, assemblies, port reducers and more – and select one of the system calibration options to customize the solution to your application specific tasks.
Our integrating sphere with a mini halogen light source pre-attached to it is a valuable instrument for reflection applications and works best from visible light to near infrared. With its internal diameter of 50 mm, it provides diffused halogen light on the sample (10 mm sample port) and collects the reflection signal via its direct collimated SMA-port. It is very useful for dark or low reflecting materials and NIR spectral measurements, where signal strength can be limited, as well as for measuring gemstones.
Complementing our integrating spheres, AMS Technologies offers a broad portfolio of diffuse reflectance targets with reflectance values of 2% to 99% over wavelength spectra as wide as 250 nm to 2500 nm. The targets’ reflective area ranges from 31.75 mm diameter all the way up to 1.2 m x 2.4 m.
Both our integrating spheres and reflectance targets can be used with our selection of broadband, ASE and supercontinuum light sources, including full-spectrum LED sources, full-range halogen/deuterium light sources, LED/SLED broadband light sources and many more.
In addition to integrating spheres and reflectance targets, we carry a broad portfolio of further optical test and measurement solutions: our beam profilers allow for beam analysis, beam position detection and control, and the precise alignment of the beam to a target point. Our extensive range of spectroscopic instruments includes spectrometers, spectrographs and spectroscopy cameras. Our interferometers are important tools for quality control. We carry interferometers for measuring fiber holders, single- and multi-fiber connectors, but also systems for other applications like a fiber-pigtailed Mach-Zehnder free space interferometer or Michelson and Mach-Zehnder fiber interferometers.
A broad portfolio of further devices for inspection, test and measurement of optical connectors is available like an extensive range of fiber optic microscopes for every application and budget, tools and systems for measuring passive optics and connectors, as well as other fiber properties measurement devices like fiber analysers, tensile testers, polarization and crosstalk analyzers or refractive index measurement services.
Tools for fiber optics processing, dispensing and curing of optical adhesives and cleaning of optical connector surfaces round off the AMS Technologies range of solutions around optical test, tools and measurement.
Integrating spheres (also called Ulbricht spheres) are internally diffusely reflecting hollow spheres with an exit aperture (often) positioned perpendicular to a light entry aperture. The inner surface of integrating spheres is coated with the best possible diffusely reflecting material – barium sulphate (BaSO4) is often used here, and optical PTFE achieves the best reflective properties over a wide range of wavelengths in the visible light range, while gold coating is suitable for infrared radiation with wavelengths above 700 nm.
Integrating spheres are used to achieve diffuse radiation from directional radiation or to collect radiation from highly divergent sources. Depending on the measurement to be performed, the (directional) light or radiation source is placed either in front of the light entry aperture or approximately in the middle of the sphere. Because the diameters of the apertures are significantly smaller than the inner diameter of the sphere, only light that has previously been reflected many times from the inner surface reaches the exit plane.
The light radiation reflected many times in an integrating sphere is almost ideally diffuse; it fulfils the so-called "Lambert distribution" far better than is possible with an opaque diffuser or a flat, diffusely reflecting surface.
A frequent application of integrating spheres is the determination of the luminous flux emitted by a light source. For this purpose, it would in principle also be possible (albeit very complex) to point a photometer at the light source from all possible directions, record a large number of direction-dependent measured values, and add these up to the total luminous flux – as a goniophotometer does, for example. However, if the directional distribution of the luminous flux is not of interest, the amount of the total luminous flux can be determined much easier and faster using an integrating sphere.
The light radiation emitted directly by the light source placed approximately in the center of the integrating sphere is diffusely reflected many times on the inner surface of the sphere and thus generates an indirect luminous flux that fills the interior of the sphere as a diffuse light field. Protected from the direct light component by an appropriate optical shield, a photometer attached to the inner surface of the sphere measures this indirect component of the illumination intensity, from which the luminous flux can finally be calculated.
Another application is the investigation of optical properties of materials. For example, the material to be examined can be attached to one of the sphere openings and illuminated from the outside with a measuring light beam. The part of the light that passes through the sample – usually scattered in many directions – is collected in the sphere and fed to the measuring element. If, instead of the transmittance, the reflective properties of the material are of interest, the material sample is illuminated from the inside of the sphere.
Finally, the diffuse radiation generated in an integrating sphere can be used to realize a photometric standard or a reference radiation source for evaluating and comparing the properties of different optical detectors.
Alternative Terms: Ulbricht Sphere; Diffusely Reflecting Sphere; Equipment for Measurements of Light Sources