General FAQ

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Where does the name BaySpec come from?

We are located in the heart of Silicon Valley, in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. And we specialize in manufacturing devices for measuring a wide spectrum of colors.

Where is San Jose?

BaySpec, Inc. is located in the 10th largest city in the U.S. (as of 2011), San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Located on the south side of the San Francisco Bay, our facilities are located just 3.5 miles from San Jose International Airport and 40 minutes from San Francisco International Airport.

Where are BaySpec's products used?

BaySpec’s advanced photonic devices are used in the process control, medical diagnostics, optical networks and telecommunications industries, among others. For more examples, see our Applications section.

What is a Spectrograph?

A spectrograph is an optical instrument that transforms an incoming light signal into a sequence of intensities at each wavelength (a spectrum). A spectrograph is an instrument without a photo detector, but typically has all the front optics, diffractive elements and focusing/imaging optics, but no photo detector or any data acquisition electronics and software attached or associated to it.

What is a Spectrometer?

A spectrometer is an optical instrument that transforms incoming light signal into a sequence of intensities at each wavelength (a spectrum) and measures this spectrum. The difference between a spectrometer and a spectrograph is the presence or absence, respectively, of a detector.

What is a 'Spectral Engine'?

The term ‘Spectral Engine’ was coined by BaySpec in 2001 when it launched its optical channel performance monitor (OCPM) products for optical telecommunications performance monitoring applications. Since then it has been widely used by many people in the industry when referring interchangeably to miniature spectrometers and spectrographs. It is not a defined technical term, but has received wide acceptance in the industry. It is analogous to the internal combustion engines in cars, and just as the car is driven by this engine, an optical monitor is driven by its spectral engine.

What wavelength range can BaySpec's products cover?

With its in-house Volume Phase GratingTM (VPG) manufacturing capabilities, BaySpec covers a very wide spectral range in all its devices, from 300 nm to 2800 nm.

How is spectral resolution defined?

This is the minimum wavelength spacing between two signal peaks which can still be distinguished as two peaks.

Why use near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy?

The sensitivity and directivity of any spectroscopic measurement depends on band intensities. Short wavelengths, such as the visible region (400-800nm) are what spectroscopists call “3rd overtones”, which have considerable weaker band intensities (10x less) when compared to the 2nd overtone region (800-1100 nm). This is further weaker (another 10X) compared to the 1st overtone region (1500-1800nm). Furthermore, overtones in the short wavelength region of 400-1100nm of various molecular stretches diminish the spectral fingerprint effects, making it harder to identify molecular information. Therefore, it is advantageous to use near infrared instead of visible.

Why was near infrared (NIR) not used much in the past?

Until very recently, it was virtually impossible to have a low cost, compact, rugged spectral device available to end users, which limited application to the research lab. Developments in optical telecom components over the last few years have now enabled low cost NIR instruments for wide adoption.