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Techniques & Tools Spectroscopy

Swifter Spec

Many advances have been made in spectroscopy over recent decades, namely by manipulating the complexity of the light field in question. In a recent paper, researchers have developed a viable method for high-speed spectroscopic measurements with GHz readout rates by generating “spectral vector beams” (SVBs) – beams with different polarization states for each wavelength (1). 

“Our work shows a simple way to have different polarizations for all color components of the laser. By using this light as a probe, we can simply measure the polarization to gain information about changes in the color spectrum,” explains Lea Kopf, lead author of the study (2). 

SVBs enable measurements to be made using only polarization, making the process easier than conventional spectroscopy. The authors even propose the method could be used with supercontinuum light sources to enable measurements over the entire NIR or IR spectrum.  

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  1. Lea Kopf et al., Optica, 8, 930 (2021). DOI : 10.1364/OPTICA.424960
  2. Tampere University (2021). Available at : 
About the Author
Lauren Robertson

By the time I finished my degree in Microbiology I had come to one conclusion – I did not want to work in a lab. Instead, I decided to move to the south of Spain to teach English. After two brilliant years, I realized that I missed science, and what I really enjoyed was communicating scientific ideas – whether that be to four-year-olds or mature professionals. On returning to England I landed a role in science writing and found it combined my passions perfectly. Now at Texere, I get to hone these skills every day by writing about the latest research in an exciting, creative way.

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