PARISS hyperspectral microscope

PARISS® Analytical Hyperspectral Imaging Microscopy


 Hyperspectral imaging correlates spectra presented by objects in an unlimited, heterogeneous field of view, with spectra in a reference spectral library.

PARISS®: Prism and Reflector Imaging Spectroscopy System

PARISS® Analytical Hyperspectral Imaging Microscopy

About Spectral Imaging, Multispectral Imaging And Hyperspectral Imaging

Spectral imaging: a spectrometer acquires spatially resolved spectra with hundreds of contiguous wavelengths over a wavelength range, providing hundreds of wavelength data points per spectrum.  Spectral imaging instruments almost always use a diffraction grating or a prism as the wavelength dispersive element.

Multispectral imaging evaluates a field of view (FOV) with non-contiguous wavelengths.  Instruments are often based on a liquid crystal tunable filter (LCTF) or an acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) in front of a scientific matrix-array camera.  These devises often operate with low spectral resolution with up to 100 wavelength data points.

Hyperspectral imaging is a hardware and software system in which spectra presented by objects in a FOV are correlated to spectra in a reference library. Modern hyperspectral imaging systems acquire hundreds to thousands of spectra simultaneously, with each spectrum presenting many hundreds of wavelength data points.

Hyperspectral Imaging Microscopy

Hyperspectral imaging was originally developed for remote Earth sensing in the mid-1970s.  Since then, advances in computer technology enabled innovative spectroscopic hardware designs that reduced weight and improved sensitivity.

In 1996 LightForm utilized these advances to pioneer hyperspectral imaging microscopy for biological and medical applications.  The goal required that the instrument be sensitive enough to handle low light levels, and compact enough to easily mount as an accessory on almost any microscope without external support.

The solution was found by discarding diffraction grating designs in favor of a prism-based system, originally developed by The Aerospace Corporation* for remote sensing.  After redesign, the PARISS imaging spectrograph was ideal for use as a microscope accessory.

A Unique Prism Increases Hyperspectral Imaging Microscopy Sensitivity

PARISS LogoThe final design resulted in a prism with curved sides that was named using an acronym “PARISS®” (Prism and Reflector Imaging Spectroscopy System”).

The curved sides add optical power to the system to deliver near aberration-free imaging, with 90% efficiency from 365 to 920-nm. The net result is a significant improvement in signal to noise ratio (S/N) when compared to grating solutions. Enhanced sensitivity extended into the near IR where detectors and visible diffraction gratings are at their weakest.

The PARISS imaging spectrograph was then developed into the PARISS hyperspectral microscope

Custom Hyperspectral Software

Custom software shows the location and distribution of all, or selected, spectral-objects on a spectral topographical map.

Unlike most hyperspectral software PARISS utilizes Spectral Waveform Cross Correlation Analysis (SWCCA) in order to best extract signal buried in noise and increase sensitivity.  This translates into faster acquisition time even in a low S/N environment.

PARISS Products

Imaging Spectrograph

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PARISS hyperspectral imaging prism configurationA stand alone, curved prism based imaging spectrometer for spatially resolved spectral analysis.

Imaging Spectrometer

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Master Spectral LibraryPARISS imaging spectrometer with a scientific camera detector and spectroscopic software


Hyperspectral Microscope

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Includes the PSS, scientific CCD/CMOS camera, fully computer controlled translation stage, computer, and software.

Spectroscopy Functions

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  • %Reflection
  • %Transmission
  • Absorption
  • Darkfield scatter
  • Fluorescence
  • Luminescence

PARISS Applications

Nanoparticle Characterization

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Nanoparticle spectra acquired in darkfield scatter in reflection or absorption. Samples can include biological and non-biological materials.


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Fluorescent cellUse hyperspectral imaging to reveal abnormalities and physiological changes in mammalian cells and plant tissue.

Chemistry and Physics

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Spectrum plot and as as seen on a cameraChemical and physical reactions, OLED research, and materials for solar efficiency optimization.

Industrial Quality Control

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  • Highly reflective materials
  • Industrial nanoparticle analysis and imaging
  • Color measurement of heterogeneous materials
  • Characterize powders
  • Micro spectroscopy in absorption/fluorescence.

*US Patent 5127728A

How PARISS Analytical Hyperspectral Imaging Works

How PARISS Hyperspectral Wavelength Dispersive Imaging Works

Darkfield hyperspectral nanoparticle characterization 

How PARISS hyperspectral imaging microscopy works

PARISS hyperspectral imaging microscopy modes of operation