[Illinois] Advanced Materials Characterization Workshop 2012: The Schmidt-Czerny-Turner Spectrograph

By Jason McClure

Chief Scientist, Princeton Instruments

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The Czerny-Turner type imaging spectrograph is by far the most commonly used research instrument in dispersive optical spectroscopy. Image aberrations inherent in this type spectrograph impart distortions to recorded spectra that affect resolution both spatially and spectrally. Understanding the effect these aberrations have on spectral data are typically left as an exercise for the researcher in subsequent post-processing and data analysis steps.

We present the discovery of the Schmidt-Czerny-Turner spectrograph which is shown to be free from all the offending image aberrations of its predecessor. The three major offending image aberrations present in the traditional Czerny-Turner type spectrograph, Spherical, Coma, and Astigmatism are discussed with respect to the effects they have on spectral data and methods for the researcher to minimize their severity are covered.

The scope of experiments and techniques now made possible by the Schmidt-Czerny-Turner imaging spectrograph are discussed.


Dr. Jason Mcclure is the chief scientist at Princeton Instruments having previously served as senior scientist. Dr. Mcclure obtained his B.S. in physics from Denison University in 2002, and his PhD in physics from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2009. He holds multiple patents and was recently awarded the Prism Award for the discovery and development of the Schmidt-Czerny-Turner anastigmatic imaging spectrograph.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Jason McClure (2012), "[Illinois] Advanced Materials Characterization Workshop 2012: The Schmidt-Czerny-Turner Spectrograph," http://nanohub.org/resources/14468.

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