OBB Light Source

Tunable KiloArc™ Hardware

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Tunable KiloArcConsisting of a unique arc lamp housing tightly coupled to a 0.2 meter monochromator, the Tunable KiloArc™ Illuminator is a self aligned illuminator that generates hundreds of milliwatts of intensity and offers the versatility of continuous wavelength and bandwidth selection. The wavelength can be set manually or, for ultimate flexibility, it can be scanned under computer control. The Tunable KiloArc™ Illuminator could not be easier to operate. The system is air cooled and requires no ozone venting. Simply push the start button and dial the wavelength and bandpass of output that you require. It’s that easy!

Arc Lamp Hardware

Lamp Housing

You would have to buy 6 old style vertical lamp housings to deliver the same number of photons that a KiloArc™ delivers to a single point!

At the heart of every OBB KiloArc™ is a proprietary on-axis ellipsoidal reflector. Our reflectors collect up to 70% of the radiant energy from the arc lamp, versus only 12% for typical condenser systems in vertical lamp housings. The ellipse literally wraps around the arc lamp, collecting 5 to 6 times more output power than from a conventional system.


The arc source is located at one focus points of the ellipse, and the radiation is reflected by the ellipse to the secondary focus which is actually outside of the KiloArc™. Since the light is brought to a focus by reflection rather than refraction (through a lens), there are less losses from absorption or lens-surface back-reflection. This design is so efficient that an OBB Lamp housing can deliver  up to 11 times more optical power into a given smaller area than a conventional lamp housing.

Our ellipsoidal reflectors are proprietary in design and the coating used. They are NOT electro-formed reflectors, which can distort with heat, and can degrade within months. Our proprietary design ensures that distortion of the critical ellipsoid cannot occur as the lamp reaches its operating temperature. This ensures thermal stability of focus. The coating ensures reasonably long operating life, typically 2–3 years.

The KiloArc™ ellipsoidal reflector is an f/4 reflector. The f/# is important when considering matching the KiloArc™ source to some other components like, fiber optics, liquid light guides or monochromators. However f/# for an ellipsoidal reflector is not an indicator of light collection as it is in a simple lens design. The shape and size of the ellipsoidal reflector determines how much light is collected from the lamp arc. The f/# only determines the focal cone angle.

The KiloArc™ is air cooled. However since the system uses ozone free lamps, there is no ozone or venting requirements, although there is an exhaust hose adapter if you want to vent the warm air out of a lab.

The OBB KiloArc™ is a sealed arc lamp housing with a quartz window through which the focused light is delivered. Below is the spectral transmission curve for the quartz window.

Quartz Spectral Transmision Curve

Spectral Transmission Curve of Quartz Window


Unique Quick Release Self Aligning Lamp Replacement.

KiloArc Bulb Assembly

You have a choice of two lamps depending on the spectral output that you require; xenon or mercury-xenon. The lamps are provided as a complete pre-aligned assembly which includes a cooling fin and a quick release self aligning connector. Of course you may order both types of lamps as they are interchangeable.

The xenon gas used in the lamp provides continuous spectra from 180 nm to 2,500 nm at varying intensities (refer to spectral output graph). The mercury-xenon provides more of a line spectra (refer to spectral output graph). The spectral curves for xenon and mercury-xenon are normalized (relative intensities) therefore, although you cannot tell from the curves, the mercury-xenon lamp actually has greater intensities than the xenon lamp at it’s various peaks. Refer to specifications web page for detailed spectral characteristics of these two lamps.

The KiloArc™ uses ozone free quartz lamps which cut off the deep UV below 240 nm.

Typical lamp lifetime is 1,500 hrs. The lamp lifetime is highly dependent on operating conditions. Lamps should not be operated above their rated wattage (1,000 W).

Lamp Spectrum Band Pass Intensity Charts

Xenon Lamp Spectrum

Xenon Intensity Chart


% output


% output




% output

250-300 2.489 750-800 4.682 1250-1300 0.896 1750-1800 0.345
300-350 3.540 800-850 8.914 1300-1350 0.705 1800-1850 0.306
350-400 4.577 850-900 6.284 1350-1400 0.931 1850-1900 0.306
400-450 5.245 900-950 6.788 1400-1450 0.919 1900-1950 0.306
450-500 5.626 950-1000 5.848 1450-1500 1.118 1950-2000 0.268
500-550 5.214 1000-1050 2.871 1500-1550 0.701 2000-2050 0.345
550-600 5.729 1050-1100 1.953 1550-1600 0.513 2050-2100 0.230
600-650 6.472 1100-1150 1.402 1600-1650 0.515 2100-2150 0.230
650-700 5.649 1150-1200 1.593 1650-1700 0.552 2150-2200 0.230
700-750 4.862 1200-1250 0.846 1700-1750 0.428 TOTAL 100.000


Mercury/Xenon Lamp Spectrum

mercury Xenon Lamp

Mercury/Xenon Intensity Chart


% output


% output




% output

260-270 2.205 380-390 0.538 500-510 0.199 800-900 3.186
270-280 2.678 390-400 0.488 510-520 0.199 900-1000 2.947
280-290 2.877 400-410 2.862 520-530 0.199 1000-1100 3.942
290-300 4.231 410-420 0.304 530-540 0.249 1100-1200 3.544
300-310 3.883 420-430 0.319 540-550 3.325 1200-1300 2.190
310-320 5.730 430-440 5.207 550-560 1.563 1300-1400 4.580
320-330 0.538 440-450 0.498 560-570 0.249 1400-1500 2.091
330-340 1.572 450-460 0.199 570-580 3.463 1500-1600 2.449
340-350 0.448 460-470 0.199 580-590 4.908 1600-1700 2.051
350-360 0.886 470-480 0.199 590-600 0.521 1700-1800 2.190
360-370 8.403 480-490 0.229 600-700 3.467 1800-1900 1.990
370-380 1.473 490-500 0.483 700-800 2.041 1900-2000 1.990


Power Supply

The KiloArc™ illuminator has a dedicated 1,000 watt power supply and igniter built into it. The power supply is a high efficiency switch-mode type supply. It is rated at 1,200 watts to ensure that it is not operated at the limit of its range. This provides better stability and longer lifetime when operated at 1,000 W. The KiloArc™ has triple shielding and electronic filtering to ensure that there is no RF transmitted or radiated out of the illuminator to interfere with sensitive equipment, like computers.


The internal igniter provides a 45 KV pulse for reliable lamp ignition. Ignition noise can disrupt, or even destroy, sensitive equipment in the vicinity of an arc lamp during start-up. This can be quite a concern in a crowded lab environment. OBB Engineers carefully designed and tested the KiloArc’s triple shielding housing and electronic filtering to ensure that there is no RF transmitted or radiated out of the illuminator

KiloArc™ Power Supply and Igniter Specifications

210–240 V AC 50/60 Hz
Starting 45 kV starting pulse
Power Rating 800–1200 watts (adjustable) — recommended 800–1000 watts
Output Volts Compliance 17–23 VDC
Output Current Limit
70 A rms


Smart Features

There are two LED indicators on the back, one called the “STATUS” which shows the modes of operation: cool down, stand by, or error. The other is an ERROR indication. It senses problems and displays error codes when they occur.

Particular considerations were paid to safety. The lamp chamber and power supply are constantly monitored for heat, as well as the airflow for cooling. If there are problems the lamp will shut down automatically and you will receive an appropriate error message. If the access door to the lamp is loose or open the lamp will turn off, or not ignite..

We tried to make the operation as fool proof, safe and reliable as possible, making the KiloArc™ ideal for commercial applications.

Mounting Information

The KiloArc™ can be mounted rigidly by removing the adjustable feet that come with the illuminator and exposing the four tap holes (6-32) shown on the bottom view below. There are also four mounting holes (6-32) on the front face of the KiloArc™, as shown on the front view below. These front holes are for attaching OBB's adapter tube but they can be used for any other mechanical assembly.

Front View




Right View

Left View

KiloArc KiloArc



Bottom View



Top View



4-Inch Exhaust Hose Adaptor

The KiloArc™ does not generate harmful levels of ozone (less than a typical copier). It does generate some heat. Therefore venting is not a requirement, but if you do desire to vent the exhaust from the KiloArc™, select this option.

IR Absorbing Water Filter

The KiloArc™ light source is coupled to a monochromator with a light tight adapter tube which contains an IR absorbing water filter.  The IR absorbing water filter is used to protect the optical elements in the monochromator from the very intense IR heat delivered by the KiloArc™ illuminator. These cylindrical metal devices are filled with water or some other IR absorbing liquid, such as copper sulfate, and have two quartz windows on either end to allow light to transmit through the absorbing solution. The cylindrical walls are water jacketed to allow cooling water to be circulated around the IR absorbing solution itself to keep it from overheating.

The standard IR absorbing water filter that comes with the Tunable KiloArc™ is made of aluminum which can be used with distilled water as the absorbing solution. There is an optional stainless steel filter that can be filled with distilled water, copper sulfate other IR absorbing liquids.

IR Filters

Distilled water is an excellent UV-Vis-NIR transmitter and IR absorber. It will transmit most of the light above 200 nm and absorb almost 100% of the light above 1,000 nm.

There is an optional filter mount that can be attached to the output side of either IR absorbing water filter to allow for multiple 2” square filters to be held.

Monochromator Hardware

This extremely rugged monochromator is built from a single solid metal casting that includes the base plate, optical mounts and all four sides of the unit. Inside the monochromator has extensive baffles to reduce stray light. There is an entrance and exit baffle box at the entrance and exit silts, as well as a center baffle that separates the input side from the exit side of the monochromator.

The monochromator has four optional ports that can be utilized for two inputs and two outputs. In the standard configuration it comes with one entrance and one exit port. This gives you a choice of four different input/output geometries:

180° Straight Line – with folding mirrors on entrance and exit

90° Right Angle – with folding mirror on the exit side

90° Left Angle – with folding mirror on the entrance side

360° – with no folding mirrors

Straight Line Right Angle

180° Straight Line

90° Right Angle

Left Angle 360 Degree

90° Left Angle



You can also elect as an option to have two entrance ports or two exit ports. This option adds an appropriate flipping mirror(s) and slit assemblies. The flipping mirror is manually switched to receive light from either entrance port, or to deliver light to either exit port depending on the configuration.

Dual Exit Ports Dual Entrance Ports Dual Entrance and Exit Ports

Dual Exit Ports

Dual Entrance Ports

Dual Entrance and Exit Ports



The monochromator slits are continuously adjustable manual slits with micrometers for adjustment from 0 to 6 mm. The micrometers have a digital readout of the physical slit size selected. The slit housing also has a manually sliding shutter to quickly shut off or open the light path. This manual slider also has a wedge height adjustment to allow you to select a slit height anywhere from 0 to 21 mm.

digital slit

digital slit

M3 mounting screws on slit assembly


There is a wide selection of gratings to choose from depending on the optical requirements. All gratings are 50 x 50 mm flat gratings. The Ruled gratings have better optical throughput and Holographic gratings have improved stray light characteristics. Ruled gratings have two fundamental parameters to choose from; the groove density, expressed in grooves (or lines) per millimeter, and the blaze angle which nominally refers to the peak reflectance wavelength expressed in nanometers.
The groove density affects the resolution and mechanical scanning range of the monochromator. Below is a reference chart showing the affect groove density has on the mechanical scanning range of the monochromator as well as the reciprocal linear dispersion.


Groove Density

Mechanical Scanning Range (nm)

Reciprocal Linear Dispersion (nm/mm)

2,400 g/mm 0 to 550 nm 2 nm/mm
1,200 g/mm 0 to 1,100 nm 4 nm/mm
600 g/mm 0 to 2,200 nm 8 nm/mm
300 g/mm 0 to 4,400 nm 16 nm/mm

150 g/mm

0 to 8,800 nm 32 nm/mm


An optional dual grating mount allows you to select two different gratings, say to optimize throughput in different wavelength ranges. The gratings are positioned back to back and a switch dial is available at the top of the monochromator to manually choose which grating is to be used.

Below is a list of our standard gratings. Other gratings are also available upon request.

Available Gratings

Part #


Grating Curve

200 600 g/mm, 1,250 nm blaze Download Curve
201 1,200 g/mm 300 nm blaze Download Curve
202 1,200 g/mm 400 nm blaze Download Curve
203 1,200 g/mm, 500 nm blaze Download Curve
204 Holographic grating 300–800 nm Download Curve
205 75 g/mm 10.0 µm blaze Download Curve
206 150 g/mm, 4.0 µm blaze Download Curve
207 300 g/mm, 2.0 µm blaze Download Curve
209 600 g/mm, 750 nm blaze Download Curve
211 600 g/mm 1.0 µm blaze Download Curve
212 1,200 g/mm, 600 nm blaze Download Curve
213 1,200 line/mm, 750 nm blaze Download Curve


Wavelength Control

The monochromator wavelength is controlled with a manual dial and readout. The readout is designed to be in true wavelength in nanometers for the 1,200 g/mm grating. For other gratings you have to multiply the dial readout by a factor depending on the actual grating resolution. For example with the 600 g/mm grating you multiply the digital readout by 2 to arrive at the true wavelength position of the monochromator.

Programmable Computer Control

An optional computer control accessory is available. It includes a stepper motor assembly, an MD-2000 USB motor controller interface box and a LabVIEW* driver for computer control of the monochromator wavelength with LabVIEW software from National Instruments.

A very simple software package is also provided by OBB to remotely select the wavelength and control the shutter. Requires Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating system.

Software Screen Shots
Click to enlarge

Monochromator Software Monochromator Software


*LabVIEW is a trade mark of National Instruments


For more information on the Tunable KiloArc™ visit the Tunable KiloArc™ Specifications page.

OBB has a policy of continuous product development and reserves the right to amend part numbers, descriptions and specifications without prior notice.
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Tel: 732-494-8660
Fax: 732-623-8129