CLARIOstar High-Performance Microplate Reader with Next Generation LVF Monochromators


BMG LABTECH specializes in microplate reading systems and continues to invest in unique and innovative technologies. Most of this new technology has been implemented based on customers' suggestions. The linear variable filter (LVF) monochromator (Figure 1) is one such technological development that sets a new standard in microplate reading technology.

Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the LVF monochromator

LVF Monochromators

BMG LABTECH's LVF monochromator is a next-generation monochromator technology that delivers filter-like performance. The monochromator is an optical instrument that selects a specific light wavelength through mechanical movement of a light filtering stage. A monochromator-based microplate reader often includes two monochromators; one for selecting excitation and one for the emission light. To date, two generations of monochromators have been commercially available. The next one was pioneered by BMG LABTECH.

Classic Monochromator

The classic monochromator is a first generation technology that selects a wavelength by passing broadband light via a slit, a concave grating and then another slit. This is required in order to break up the light and block unwanted wavelengths. Owing to light diffraction, just a minimal amount of the light is transmitted through the monochromator to the sample in the microplate reader or from the sample to the detector. High stray light is another outcome of internal light reflections. This stray light is unwanted wavelengths of light that leak through the slit.

Dual, Double Monochromator

The dual, double monochromator is a second generation technology that features two standard monochromators built one after the other. This device is also called a quad/quadruple monochromator because a reader has four monochromators; two for excitation and two for emission. Here, a broadband light is passed through a first monochromator, in order to select a wavelength. To reduce stray light, a second monochromator is placed after the first one, with a second set of slits and grating. Due to the “double” diffraction and light filtering, only a limited amount of light reaches the sample in the microplate and the detector.

Next Generation LVF Monochromator

The LVF monochromator has been specifically designed for BMG LABTECH's CLARIOstar®, an advanced monochromator-based microplate reader that includes two LVF monochromators; one for excitation and one for emission. With this instrument, light travels through a linear variable short pass and a linear variable long pass filter, which produces the rising and falling edge of the filter, respectively. In this way, the LVF monochromator is able to separate light into distinct wavelengths (from 320 to 850nm) and bandwidths (from 8 to 100nm) that can continually be adjusted. The excitation is separated from the emission light using a linear variable dichroic mirror (LVDM) slide.

Benefits of BMG LABTECH LVF Monochromators

Compared to the first and second generation monochromators, the state-of-the-art LVF monochromators from BMG LABTECH provide the following benefits:

  • Excellent blocking of unwanted stray light for lowest background noise and optimum performance
  • Highest light transmission for filter-like performance
  • Broader bandwidths, of greater than 25nm, for higher sensitivity, particularly in luminescence
  • Continuously adjustable bandwidth, from 8 to 100nm, in 1nm steps offers 93 different bandwidths for greatest flexibility
  • Removal of stray light problems encountered with traditional monochromators
  • Integrated use of monochromators and filters, for exciting with a filter and scanning the emission using the LVF monochromator or vice versa


LVF monochromators designed by BMG LABTECH make the CLARIOstar the most sensitive monochromator-based microplate reader available on the market. These devices are the first monochromators to deliver filter-like performance, with excellent bandwidth and wavelength flexibility.

About BMG Labtech

BMG LABTECH is a leading developer and global manufacturer of microplate reader instrumentation with a wide range of measurement methods. Microplate readers are used in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, as well as in academic research establishments, for both basic research analysis and High Throughput Screening. BMG LABTECH focuses solely on microplate readers and offers the most diverse selection of optical detection systems in conjunction with integrated liquid handling equipment.

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Last updated: Jul 14, 2018 at 6:41 PM

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