Shimadzu Europa
UV-3600 Plus & ISR-1503
New solutions for UV-VIS-NIR Measurements

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  • Published: Feb 15, 2016
  • Source: Shimadzu Europa GmbH
  • Categories: UV/Vis Spectroscopy
thumbnail image: <font size=3>Shimadzu Europa</font><br />UV-3600 Plus & ISR-1503<br/>New solutions for UV-VIS-NIR Measurements

Authors: Marion Egelkraut-Holtus, Johan Leinders
Shimadzu Europa GmbH, Albert-Hahn-Str. 6-10, 47269 Duisburg,


Shimadzu’s UV-3600 and its successor UV-3600 Plus ultraviolet-visible near-infrared spectrophotometer systems are the world's first to be equipped with three detectors. By combining a photomultiplier tube for the ultraviolet-visible region and an InGaAs and cooled PbS detector for the near-infrared region, the instrument delivers greatly enhanced sensitivity throughout the entire range of wavelengths measured. With globally unparalleled low-noise specifications (0.00003 Abs or less of 1500-nm noise), the instrument's enhanced sensitivity in the near-infrared region is truly remarkable.

Thanks to its high-performance double monochromator, the UV-3600 Plus offers high resolution (maximum 0.1 nm) and extremely low levels of stray light (0.00005% max. at 340 nm) which is unprecedented worldwide.

The measurable wavelength regions range from 185 nm to 3300 nm covering the ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared regions, making it possible for the instrument to be used for spectrophotometry in a broad range of fields.

With its wide measurable dynamic photometric range of -6 to 6 Abs (12 digits in decimal), many samples can be measured directly without the need for dilution.

UV-3600 Plus

A huge number of optional accessories such as a multi-purpose large sample compartment equipped with three detectors (MPC-603) and a 60 mm integrating sphere attachment (ISR-603) are available. These accessories enable high-sensitivity measurement of solid samples in addition to liquid samples.

UV-3600 Plus with MPC-603

With many features and enhanced sensitivity, high-precision measurements can be carried out with ease and a broad range of measurement applications can be readily accommodated.

Large integrating sphere

Inspired by the successful concept of the triple-detector analytics for the UV-VIS-NIR range, the large ISR-1503 integrating sphere of the Shimadzu UV-3600 Plus series has been redesigned. It still has a diameter of 150 mm, but is now available in a BaSO4 and Spectralon® version. Like the main unit, it combines three detectors that can be controlled jointly over the entire measuring range: a PMT (photomultiplier tube), an InGaAs detector and a PbS detector.

UV-3600 Plus with ISR-1503F

Compared with its predecessor, the design is more spherical and achieves an aperture ratio of less than 3 % at 0° reflectance, even in the presence of a third detector. In this way, the sphere meets the requirements for applications with a low aperture ratio. This parameter is specified by national and international standard methods such as EN, ASTM and JISZ8722 “Methods of color measurement – Reflecting and transmitting objects”.

Two versions of the ISR-1503 are available:

  • The ISR-1503 coated with BaSO4
  • The ISR-1503F coated with Spectralon (Teflon), which absorbs no moisture. This is an advantage in the NIR range which reacts sensitively to the presence of surface-bound water. The near-infrared range does not exhibit any absorption of water, as can occur in barium sulfate measurements in this measuring range when the sample is not embedded in BaSO4.



Some norms requiring low aperture ratio can be seen in Table 1. These norms are applicable mainly to the plastics, glass and solar industries.


Table 1: ISO and ASTM specifications stipulating aperture ratio.

High measurement stability

The 150 mm integrating sphere is exceptionally well suited for samples with strong light scattering and uneven and rough surfaces. The large sphere collects the strongly reflected light and generates high measurement stability without being too strongly influenced by surface structures.

Due to the design of the sphere, it is possible to place the sample horizontally onto the sphere for transmittance measurements. For reflectance measurements under an angle of incidence of 0° or 8°, the sample can also be placed alongside the sphere (vertically) or under the sphere (horizontally). In this way, different physical properties can be measured, such as total transmittance, relative directed reflectance and diffuse reflectance of the sample under investigation.


  • Wavelength range: 250 to 2300 nm
  • Integrating sphere: 150 mm internal diameter
  • Detector: integrated PMT, InGaAs and PbS detectors
  • Sample positioning: transmittance, 0° reflectance - horizontal; 8° reflectance - vertical
  • Aperture ratio: reflectance measurement (0°) 3%
  • Angle of incidence: 0°/8°
  • Sphere material: ISR-1503: BaSO4; ISR-1503F: Spectralon (Teflon)

A typical application: Solar glass for photovoltaic thermal solar collectors

Reflectance spectra of solid materials like powders, paper and textiles can be measured using the ISR-1503 series. Transmittance measurements of liquids and transparent solid materials can be carried out.

For solar glass, structures are applied onto the glass surface. In one method, specially designed molding rollers are used to stamp patterns on both sides of the glass surface. The structures on the surface must ensure a high solar transmittance factor for perpendicular irradiation.

In addition, a minimum loss of reflectance for angles of incidence of sunlight that are different from the perpendicular is required. This is specified as the angular factor. A high angular factor yields a good energy production balance.

Shown here is the measurement of a double-sided structured glass with a layer thickness of approximately 5 mm. The measurement was carried out in the transmittance mode (Figure 1). The transmittance baseline is at 92 % transmittance. This corresponds to the luminous efficiency that is measured with flat glass in direct transmittance mode. Flat glass loses approximately 4 % transmittance on each surface under the condition of direct transmittance.

The absence of any visual artefacts at 870 nm and 1650 nm due to the switch of detectors is apparent.

Figure 1: UV-VIS-NIR spectrum of structured glass measured with the ISR-1503F.


Using the 150 mm diameter integrating sphere, determination of the characteristics of a structured glass sample is simple and fast. Combining three detectors within the integrating sphere allows measurements up to the NIR range and also allows for the determination of heat permeability. Various transmittance and reflectance parameters can be determined using the ISR-1503.The aperture ratio allows for stable measurements of the structured surfaces.

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