Maintain-Your-Summit-Spectrometer-image

Select an article below to learn how to care for and maintain your Thermo Scientific Nicolet Summit FTIR Spectrometer.

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Your Thermo Scientific™ Nicolet™ Summit FTIR Spectrometer requires little upkeep and no daily maintenance. However, basic care will ensure continued peak performance. Follow the guidelines in this article. For best performance, leave the spectrometer powered on.

NOTICE Static electricity can permanently damage critical components in your spectrometer. To help prevent such damage, follow these recommendations:

  • Before you disconnect the power supply, discharge any static electricity you may have accumulated by touching the spectrometer’s metal base.
  • Leave replacement parts in their protective packaging until you are ready to install them in the instrument.

Weekly maintenance

Verify the spectrometer performance

The OMNIC Paradigm Software includes qualification and performance verification (PV) workflows for your Summit spectrometer. The qualification workflows are standard industry-wide qualification tests you most likely recognize (for example, European Pharmacopoeia, Japanese Pharmacopoeia, etc.). The PV workflow runs a series of standard tests to verify instrument operation and ensure the accuracy of your data. Any required reference standards are supplied inside the instrument and controlled by the OMNIC Paradigm Software.

We recommend that you run the PV workflow or your preferred qualification workflow at least once a week. For more information, see the article titled “Qualify Your Summit Spectrometer” in the online help.

Clean the spectrometer

The spectrometer and touchscreen can be cleaned only as recommended. See the article titled “Clean the Spectrometer and Touchscreen” in the online help for details.

Monthly maintenance

Check the humidity indicator

The spectrometer’s optical components can be easily damaged by excessive moisture in the air. The spectrometer is sealed and its components are protected by two desiccant canisters that absorb moisture. A humidity indicator located here monitors the humidity level inside the spectrometer.

Figure 1. Location of Humidity Indicator

Location of Humidity Indicator

Check the humidity indicator at least once a month and change the desiccant cannisters when needed (see the table below), or purchase and install a purge kit. See the article titled “Install and Maintain a Purge Kit” for more information.

Table 1. Humidity Indicator States and Recommendations

Humidity Indicator State Meaning Action
Blue Desiccant is fully charged none
Light blue Desiccant is becoming saturated with moisture and no longer providing sufficient protection Replace the desiccant
Pink or white Desiccant has expired Replace the desiccant and the humidity indicator

NOTICE We recommend that you keep the spectrometer sealed and desiccated, or sealed and purged with dry air or nitrogen, at all times. Equipment damage due to failure to maintain seal and desiccation and/or purge is not covered under the warranty. If you have questions about this requirement, please contact us.

Check the purge gas filter

If your Summit spectrometer is purged with nitrogen or dry air, check the purge filter at least once a month.

Replace the filter when it is yellow, or otherwise discolored, or if it is contaminated with debris or foreign particles. For more information, see the section “Checking and Changing the Purge Gas Filter” in the article titled “Install and Maintain a Purge Kit” in the online help.

Figure 2. The purge filter is located inside of the plastic bowl below the pressure gauge

The purge filter is located inside of the plastic bowl below the pressure gauge

Align your spectrometer’s optics if a qualification workflow, such as the Nicolet FTIR - PV test, indicates a failing test. Aligning the spectrometer optimizes the energy that reaches the detector and maximizes the detector signal. If a performance or qualification test fails, align the spectrometer’s optics, calibrate the laser frequency, and run the test again. If the test still fails, contact your local technical support representative for help.

To align the spectrometer optics

  1. On the home screen, Touch the Diagnostics icon [  ] to open the diagnostics view.
  2. Open the Align tab and touch Align.
    The system automatically aligns the spectrometer and indicates when alignment is complete.

To align the spectrometer optics

  1. Select Acquire Data > Diagnostics > Align Spectrometer.
  2. In the Align Spectrometer dialog, click Start.
    The system automatically aligns the spectrometer and indicates when alignment is complete.

To align the spectrometer optics

  1. On the home screen, Touch the Diagnostics icon [  ] to open the diagnostics view.
  2. Open the Align tab and touch Align.
    The system automatically aligns the spectrometer and indicates when alignment is complete.

To align the spectrometer optics

  1. Select Acquire Data > Diagnostics > Align Spectrometer.
  2. In the Align Spectrometer dialog, click Start.
    The system automatically aligns the spectrometer and indicates when alignment is complete.

Calibrate your laser frequency if a qualification workflow, such as the Nicolet FTIR - PV test, indicates a failing test. When a test fails, first align the spectrometer, then calibrate the laser frequency and run the test again. If the test still fails, contact your local technical support representative for help.

To calibrate the laser frequency

  1. On the home screen, touch the Diagnostics icon [ ]to open the Diagnostics view.
  2. Open the Laser Calibration tab and touch Calibrate to begin.
    When laser calibration is complete, a message indicates whether the laser frequency has been changed and displays the new frequency.

To calibrate the laser frequency

  1. Select Acquire Data > Diagnostics > Laser Calibration.
  2. In the Laser Calibration dialog box, click Start to calibrate the laser.
    When the system is finished calibrating the laser, a message indicates whether the frequency was changed and displays the new frequency.

To calibrate the laser frequency

  1. On the home screen, touch the Diagnostics icon [ ]to open the Diagnostics view.
  2. Open the Laser Calibration tab and touch Calibrate to begin.
    When laser calibration is complete, a message indicates whether the laser frequency has been changed and displays the new frequency.

To calibrate the laser frequency

  1. Select Acquire Data > Diagnostics > Laser Calibration.
  2. In the Laser Calibration dialog box, click Start to calibrate the laser.
    When the system is finished calibrating the laser, a message indicates whether the frequency was changed and displays the new frequency.

Before cleaning the Thermo Scientific™ Nicolet™ Summit Spectrometer, turn it off and disconnect the power supply.

Clean the Summit Spectrometer

Gently clean the exterior of the instrument with a soft, clean cloth lightly dampened with mild soap.

Dust can collect on the electronics enclosure on the back of the instrument and can potentially interfere with heat dissipation, which may reduce the lifetime of the electronic components.

To remove dust from the back of the instrument, use compressed air to blow the dust off. Do not use any liquid when removing dust from the back of the spectrometer.

Electric-Shock-Symbol

CAUTION To avoid shock hazard, do not allow liquid to run into the power supply or the back of the instrument.

NOTICE Do not use harsh detergents, solvents, chemicals, or abrasives; these can damage the finish. Do not allow liquid to contact any windows in the sample compartment.

CAUTION General

CAUTION Windows can be scratched and ruined very easily. Do not touch or attempt to clean them. Dust will not affect the signal, but fingerprints can degrade the performance of the instrument and permanently damage mirrors or windows. If you wish to remove dust from a mirror or window, blow it off with a gentle stream of clean, dry air or nitrogen. Never allow any liquid to come into contact with a window or optical component in the instrument.

Clean the touchscreen

To clean the back and sides of the touchscreen device, use a soft, clean cloth lightly dampened with mild soap.

To clean the screen, apply window or glass cleaner to a clean cloth or sponge, and gently wipe the screen with the cloth.

CAUTION General

CAUTION Do not use alcohol (methyl, ethyl, or isopropyl), thinner, benzene, or other abrasive cleaners.

NOTICE Never apply the cleaner directly to the touchscreen.

If your instrument is not equipped with a purge kit, or if the purge is turned off, you must monitor the humidity level inside the spectrometer. Replace the desiccant when the paper humidity indicator turns pink (can be light pink or almost white). Replace the paper humidity indicator each time you replace the desiccant.

Replacing the desiccant requires you to remove the desiccant cartridge and replace the desiccant canisters and the O‑ring.

Tools Needed

Before you begin, you will need the following:

  • Desiccant replacement kit
  • A 0.05-inch hex key
  • A #2 Phillips head screwdriver
  • Gloves, finger cots, or laboratory tissue (to handle the humidity indicator)
CAUTION-Explosion

WARNING Before opening the desiccant compartment, turn off the instrument power, unplug the power cord and remove all accessories and samples from the system. Entry of flammable liquids or gases into the desiccant compartment is an explosion hazard. If such entry occurs, contact us immediately and do not apply power to the instrument until the condition has been corrected.

NOTICE Make sure nothing falls into the instrument while the desiccant cover is removed.

CAUTION-General

WARNING Replace the desiccant only with replacement parts supplied by us.

To replace the desiccant

  1. Turn off the spectrometer.
    1. To turn off the spectrometer, press the power button.
    2. Unplug the power cord.
    3. Turn off the purge, if applicable, and disconnect the purge line to the instrument and any accessory.

Note You can use either desiccant cartridge (with or without the purge connector) to maintain the required humidity. The illustrations below show the nonpurged version of the desiccant cartridge. The instructions for replacing the desiccant canisters are the same for both cartridges.

  1. Remove the desiccant cartridge.
    1. Remove any installed accessory and all samples from the instrument.
    2. Use the #2 Phillips head screwdriver to loosen the two captive screws from the desiccant cartridge, and lift the cartridge straight up and out of the instrument.
      Sampling compartment of Summit spectrometer with desiccant cartridge   Desiccant cartridge lifts straight out of the Summit spectrometer
    3. Remove and discard the large O-ring.
      Desiccant cartridge removed from the Summit spectrometer sampling compartment

Note Be careful to not drop the O-ring into the desiccant compartment.

  1. Remove the desiccant canisters and replace the humidity indicator.
CAUTION-ingested

WARNING The contents of the desiccant canisters (hydrated metal aluminosilicate molecular sieve) could be harmful if ingested. If you discard the saturated desiccant canisters, make sure they are properly disposed of.

    1. Use the 0.05-inch hex key to loosen (approximately two turns) the eight screws that hold the two saturated desiccant canisters to the desiccant cartridge. Remove the canisters.
      Eight screws connect the desiccant canisters to the cartridge  
      1. Desiccant cartridge
      2. Remove these screws (four on each side)
      3. Desiccant canisters
    2. Turn the desiccant cartridge upside down and peel the old humidity indicator off the window. Discard the used indicator.

NOTICE Always wear lab gloves or finger cots, or use laboratory tissue, when handling a new humidity indicator. Oil or moisture from skin can discolor the indicator.

  1. Install the new desiccant canisters.
    1. Open the sealed packet that contains the new desiccant (must be sealed to maintain the desiccant) and remove the new humidity indicator.
    2. Turn the desiccant cartridge upside down and press the blue indicator onto the window so that the flat edges of the indicator are aligned with the edges of the cartridge. The text should be visible through the window when you turn the cartridge right side up.

NOTICE Make sure that the indicator is pressed tightly against the window so that it does not come loose in the desiccant compartment when you reinstall the cartridge.

    1. Insert the canisters into the channel of the desiccant cartridge and tighten the eight screws (approximately 2 turns) until they are flush with the cartridge channel.
  1. Insert the desiccant cartridge.
    1. Remove the new O-ring from the packet and install it on the instrument base plate.
      Press, rather than roll, the new O-ring into place to be sure it is properly seated in the groove.
    2. Insert the desiccant cartridge into the spectrometer so that the text on the humidity indicator can be read by someone standing in front of the instrument.
      Make sure the cartridge is seated properly over the O-ring and then use the #2 Phillips head screwdriver to tighten the two captive screws.
  2. Turn on the spectrometer.
    1. Plug in the power cord to the instrument and turn on the power.
    2. Reconnect the purge line to the instrument, if applicable, and turn on the purge.
  3. Verify the instrument performance.
    1. When the instrument is warmed up, open OMNIC Paradigm software and run the Nicolet FTIR - Factory Qualification workflow.

The IR source is easily accessible from the bottom of the spectrometer and can be replaced without having to remove the spectrometer’s cover.

Tools and materials needed

  • A #1 Phillips head screwdriver
  • Source Replacement Kit

Time needed: 25 minutes or less

CAUTION-General

CAUTION Before replacing the source, turn off the instrument. Replace the source only with replacement parts supplied by us.

To replace the source

  1. Turn off and disconnect the spectrometer.
    1. Turn off the instrument and unplug the power cord.
    2. Disconnect any cables from the instrument, such as the Ethernet cable or USB devices.
    3. If the spectrometer or an installed accessory is purged, disconnect the purge lines from the spectrometer and the accessory (quick connect fittings stop the flow automatically). See Install and Maintain a Purge Kit for more information.
    4. Remove any installed accessories from the instrument.
CAUTION-Hot-Surface

CAUTION The source becomes extremely hot while you are using the instrument. Wait at least 10 minutes after turning the instrument off before you perform the next step.

  1. Remove the source.
    1. If your spectrometer has the touchscreen monitor attached, move the monitor to the storage position, as show in Figure 1.
      Figure 1. Summit PRO spectrometer with touchscreen monitor in the storage position
    2. Carefully tip the instrument back until it rests on the fins of the heat sink. Do not use the touchscreen monitor to support the weight of the spectrometer.
       
    3. Use a #1 Phillips head screwdriver to fully loosen the three captive screws that hold the source in place.
    4. Swing the bale out. Steady the instrument with one hand and pull firmly on the bale to pull the source straight out of the instrument.

NOTICE Never touch a source element with your bare fingers. Skin oils or other deposits on the element will shorten its life. Always use clean finger cots, gloves, or clean laboratory tissue when handling a source element.

  1. Insert the new source.
    1. Make sure the three captive screws are straight and then slowly insert the source into the cavity until the source mount is flush with the instrument.
    2. Tighten the screws to secure the source and snap the bale into its storage position.
  1. Reconnect and power on the spectrometer.
    1. Carefully return the instrument to its upright position and reconnect any cables you removed.
    2. Replace the desiccant. See Replace the Desiccant for instructions.
      Because the internal optics are exposed to the atmosphere when removing the source, the desiccant should always be replaced after replacing the source.
CAUTION-Explosion

WARNING To ensure a good ground connection and avoid shock hazard, do not use an outlet that is connected to a conduit ground. The ground must be a noncurrent-carrying wire connected to earth ground at the main distribution box.

    1. Plug in the power cord to the instrument and press the power button to turn on the spectrometer.

Note Do not install any sampling accessing until after you have aligned the spectrometer and verified its performance

  1. Align the spectrometer and verify its performance.
    Wait until the spectrometer’s LightBar indicates that it is warmed up and ready for use before proceeding.
    You can align the spectrometer and verify performance using either the desktop or touchscreen interface.
    To use the touchscreen interface, perform the following steps:
    1. Align the spectrometer.
      1. Open OMNIC Paradigm software.
      2. On the Home screen, touch the Diagnostics icon to open the Diagnostics view and navigate to the Align tab.
      3. Touch Align to begin alignment.
    2. Verify the instrument’s performance.
      1. Using the touchscreen interface, beginning on the Home screen, navigate to the Workflows tab.
      2. Select the Nicolet FTIR - Factory Qualification workflow and touch the Run icon. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the workflow.
    To use the desktop interface, perform the following steps:
    1. Align the spectrometer.
      1. Open OMNIC Paradigm software.
      2. Open the Acquire Data menu and select Diagnostics > Align Spectrometer.
      3. Click Start and follow the on-screen prompts. Click Close when complete to return to the dashboard.
    2. Verify the instrument’s performance.
      In the Workflows pane, double-click Nicolet FTIR - Factory Qualification and follow the on-screen prompts.
  2. Replace any accessories that you removed earlier.

Install the touchscreen monitor to save space in your lab and to take full advantage of OMNIC Paradigm software for touchscreen for quickly executing workflows and carrying out routine procedures.

maintain-summit-spectrometer-Install-1-690x690

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Touchscreen monitor installation kit
    • Touchscreen monitor, with mount
    • New WiFi compartment cover with notch
    • 9/64-inch hex driver

Time needed: 25 minutes or less

To install the touchscreen monitor

  1. Prepare the spectrometer.
    1. Press the power button to turn off the spectrometer and then unplug the power cord.
    2. Turn off the purge, if applicable, and disconnect the purge line to the instrument and any accessory.
    3. Remove any accessory from the sample compartment.
  2. Remove the WiFi compartment cover from the back of the spectrometer.
    While standing in front of the spectrometer, gently squeeze the left side of the cover and lift the cover up and off of the spectrometer, as shown in Figure 1. This cover can be discarded or stored for future use.
    Figure 1. Gently squeeze the left side of the cover and lift it off of the spectrometer
  1. Install the touchscreen monitor.
    The base of the touchscreen mount attaches to the spectrometer with three captive screws, as shown in Figure 2.
    Figure 2. The base fits over three pre-drilled holes
    1. Guide the front bottom of the mount into the compartment and then rotate the mount past the sides of the compartment, as shown in Figure 3.
      Figure 3. Position the touchscreen mount over the three pre-drilled holes
    1. Using the 9/64-inch hex driver, begin tightening each of the three captive screws to ensure that the mount is aligned over the holes. Once each screw is started, finish tightening all of the screws until they are snug. You may have to rotate the screen out of the way to access each screw.
      Figure 4. Rotate the screen out of the way if it is blocking access to the captive screws
  1. Connect and position the three cables.
    The touchscreen monitor connects to the spectrometer with three cables: an HDMI cable, a USB cable, and the power cable. We recommend routing the cables in the sequence described below to ensure that the cover sits properly over the cables.
    1. Plug the thin power cable into the power port and then lay the cable along the guides running along the top of the compartment, as shown in Figure 5.
      Figure 5. The three cables wrap behind the spectrometer’s sample compartment

      1. WiFi dongle port
      2. USB port
      3. Power port
      4. HDMI port
       

      The power cable is shown highlighted in yellow. Connect the power cable and lay it in the guides along the back of the spectrometer.

    1. Plug the HDMI cable into the HDMI port, but leave the cable outside of the cable guides for now. Slide the ferrite choke as close as possible to the HDMI port.
    2. Plug in the USB cable and lay the cable on top of the thinner power cable in the cable guides.
    3. Tuck the coiled portion of the HDMI cable into the compartment in front of the base of the touchscreen mount, as shown in Figure 6. It may be easier to roll the cable into place rather than pushing it.
      Figure 6. Tuck the extra length of HDMI cable in front of the touchscreen mount
       
    1. Lay the HDMI cable on top of the USB and power cables in the cable guides, and tuck any excess cable in front of the touchscreen mount.
      If you have a Summit PRO spectrometer, route the HDMI cable between two of the vertical fins of the heat sink, as shown in Figure 7.
      The HDMI cable should fit tightly along the side of the touchscreen mount. Excess or loose cable can obstruct the compartment cover and prevent the cover from closing.
      Figure 7. The three cables fit in the cable guides along the back of the spectrometer

      1. HDMI cable
      2. Heat sink fins
  1. Install the new cover and turn on the spectrometer.
    1. Insert the tabs on the cover’s right edge into the slots in front of the touchscreen mount, and then lower the cover over the cables and press the cover down until it snaps into place. There should be only a thin, uniform gap between the covers.
      Figure 8. Position the cover around the touchscreen mount first, then lower it into place
CAUTION-Explosion

WARNING To ensure a good ground connection and avoid shock hazard, do not use an outlet that is connected to a conduit ground. The ground must be a noncurrent-carrying wire connected to earth ground at the main distribution box.

    1. Plug in and power on the spectrometer.
    2. To turn on the touchscreen, press the power button on the rear side of the monitor.

Congratulations. Your touchscreen monitor is installed and ready for use. With the touchscreen monitor installed, you can open OMNIC Paradigm software and switch to the touchscreen interface for a convenient, streamlined experience.

The Thermo Scientific™ Nicolet™ Summit FTIR Spectrometer has windows on both sides of the sample compartment that seal the instrument from moisture and other contaminants but allow the infrared beam to enter and exit the sample compartment. The windows should always be installed, even if your system is purged with dry air or nitrogen.

Summit Window Locations
Prevent fire and explosion

WARNING Prevent fire and explosion. The infrared source inside the instrument is an ignition source. If you are using volatile solvents, provide a fume hood or other active venting system that is free of spark and other ignition sources and prevents flammable vapors from collecting in the atmosphere surrounding the instrument.

We install potassium bromide (KBr) windows at the factory and run all of our operating and performance tests with the windows installed. The KBr windows are hygroscopic but have a protective coating. On this spectrometer, they provide a working spectral range between 8,000 and 350 cm-1 with no significant optical absorptions lines.

If you purchased your spectrometer with zinc selenide (ZnSe) windows, the spectrometer is delivered with KBr windows installed. You must install the ZnSe windows yourself using the instructions below. ZnSe windows are non-hygroscopic, which makes them more suitable for extremely humid environments when the spectrometer is not purged. They have an anti-reflection coating to optimize performance and, on this spectrometer, provide a working spectral range between 7,800 and 500 cm-1.

For optimal spectrometer performance, the sample compartment windows must be clear (not cloudy) and clean (no dust or fingerprints). If your windows become contaminated, the spectrometer may fail performance and qualification tests. You can order new windows from us and install them yourself using the instructions below.

NOTICE

  • Replace sample compartment windows only with replacement parts supplied by us.
  • Do not allow liquids to come into contact with the windows.
  • Windows can be scratched and ruined very easily. Do not touch or attempt to clean them. Dust will not affect the signal, but fingerprints can degrade the performance of the instrument and permanently damage mirrors or windows. If you wish to remove dust from a mirror or window, blow it off with a gentle stream of clean, dry air or nitrogen. (Do not use compressed air from a can; contaminants may cause damage.)
  • Leave new windows in their protective packaging until you are ready to insert them in the spectrometer.
  • If you remove working KBr or ZnSe windows from the spectrometer, immediately place them in the provided protective packaging (includes desiccant) and seal the package securely.
  • KBr windows are clear; ZnSe windows are yellow.

Time needed: 10 minutes

Tools needed:

  • Nicolet Summit ZnSe (or KBr) replacement windows kit
    The kit includes the following items:
    – ZnSe (or KBr) replacement windows (2)
    – Window replacement tool
    – Protective packaging (includes desiccant) for storing unused windows
    – Nitrile gloves
Summit ZnSe Windows
* Note the yellow color above; these are ZnSe windows

To replace sample compartment windows

  1. Turn off the spectrometer power switch.

Note If your instrument is purged, leave the purge on while you replace the windows to prevent ambient air from entering the spectrometer.

  1. Remove any sampling accessory from the spectrometer.
  2. Remove the first installed window.
    1. Line up the three ribs on the window replacement tool’s inside rim with the notches in the outside rim of the first installed window.

Note The window fittings are tight. Use one hand to stabilize the instrument and the other to remove the window.

    1. Press firmly on the tool and turn it counterclockwise to loosen the window.
      Continue loosening the window until it is free. If you tip the tool upward, it will support the window so you don’t have to handle it directly.

NOTICE Use nitrile gloves to handle the window and handle it by the rims only. (Avoid touching the window surfaces even when wearing gloves.)

    1. If the window is still usable, grasp it by the plastic ring and carefully place it in the provided package (with desiccant). Store the package someplace that is clean and dry.
  1. Install the new window.
    1. Grasp the new window by the plastic ring and carefully place it in the window replacement tool with the window threads facing up.
    2. Rotate the window until the three notches in its outside rim line up with the ribs on the tool’s inside rim.
    3. Reversing the removal procedure above, tip the tool and window just enough to place the window over the opening in the spectrometer.
    4. While maintaining light pressure against the spectrometer wall, slowly turn the tool clockwise to ensure the window’s threads are engaged properly.

NOTICE The window should turn easily at the start; if it doesn’t, reverse the direction of rotation and restart the insertion to avoid stripping the threads.

    1. Continue rotating the tool clockwise until you feel the O-ring compress, plus 1/8 turn more.
  1. Repeat steps 3 through 4 above to replace the second window.
  2. Turn on the instrument power and start OMNIC Paradigm Software.
  3. Wait at least 15 minutes for the spectrometer to warm up (one to six hours for best results).
  4. Run the performance verification (PV) workflow for the spectrometer. This workflow, named “Nicolet FTIR-PV Test,” is provided with the software.
  5. If you use operational qualification (OQ) tests to track instrument performance, we recommend that you rerun your chosen OQ test after the sample compartment windows have been replaced (especially if you changed the window type). See the article titled “Qualify the Summit Spectrometer” in the online help for more information.
  6. Replace any accessories you removed earlier on the spectrometer.