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.

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.