Select an article below or watch a video to learn how to unpack and set up your new Nicolet Summit FTIR Spectrometer. Be sure to read "Before Your Spectrometer Arrives" so you understand the site requirements. Make sure each operator reads "Personal Safety with the Spectrometer" before using the instrument.

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Prepare a suitable workspace for your spectrometer before it arrives to ensure the most accurate data and the best long-term performance.

This article explains what to do when your spectrometer arrives and introduces environmental and electrical factors that can influence your spectrometer’s performance. For a more comprehensive explanation of these requirements, see the Site and Safety Information installed on your Summit spectrometer.

Unpacking the spectrometer

Before you open the box, there are two important steps to take as soon as the instrument arrives:

  • Check the exterior of the shipping box for damage
    If you notice any signs of damage, contact us or your local distributor for instructions.
  • Allow the spectrometer to come to room temperature
    Inside the shipping box, the spectrometer is sealed in a plastic bag to keep it dry. You must allow 24 hours for the spectrometer to reach room temperature before you open the bag. If you open the bag before the spectrometer is warmed up, condensation could form that could damage internal optical components and cause permanent damage.

The warranty will not cover damage due to improper moving techniques or to removing the sealed plastic bag before the instrument has come to room temperature.

Preparing the workspace

Before your instrument arrives, make sure your workspace will be able to properly support the spectrometer. In addition to allowing enough room for the spectrometer, consider several environmental and electrical requirements.

Spectrometer dimensions

The Summit spectrometer requires a fairly small space, but make sure you also leave room around the instrument so that heat can dissipate from the vents and so that you can easily access the instrument’s ports, power button, and cables.

  • Summit instrument weight: 10.9 kg (24 lbs)
  • Summit instrument weight with touchscreen option: 12.6 Kg (27.8 lbs)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D):
    – 34 cm x 24 cm x 32 cm; (13.3 in. x 9.6 in. x 12.7 in.)
  • Dimensions with touch screen display option (W x H x D):
    – 53 cm x 43 cm x 32 cm; (20.8 in. x 17.0 in. x 12.7 in.)

Environmental factors

The Summit spectrometer is a robust instrument designed to be used in many environments. However, for best performance, keep it in a relatively dust-free and low-humidity environment. The spectrometer operates reliably at temperatures between 15 and 35 °C, but for optimal performance should be kept between 20 and 22 °C.

Humidity can cause condensation to form inside the instrument, which could damage internal components. A few precautions can typically protect your instrument from humidity:

  • Maintain the instrument’s desiccant, including while the instrument is in storage.
  • Avoid rapid changes in temperature.
    – Keep the instrument away from sources of cool or hot air, such as near heating and air conditioning vents or large windows.

If your spectrometer will be kept in an especially humid environment, consider installing a purge gas kit.

Electrical requirements

Power supplied to the spectrometer must be from dedicated, uninterrupted sources and free from the following issues:

  • Voltage dropouts
  • Transient spikes
  • Frequency shifts
  • Other line disturbances

If you suspect problems with your power, we recommend a power quality audit. Contact us or your local electrical authority for more information.

Electrical service specifications

The following table lists specifications for electrical service. Contact our service representative in your area if you have questions about the requirements.

Requirements Specification
Input Current 1.6 A Max
Input Voltage 100–240 VAC
Line Frequency 47–63
Line Disturbances Sags, surges, or other line disturbances must not exceed 10% of input voltage
Noise Less than 2 V (common mode)
Less than 20 V (normal mode)

While the Nicolet Summit Spectrometer is designed to be a safe instrument, you should take a few precautions to protect yourself from potential hazards that can arise during normal use and maintenance.

CAUTION This guide is an introduction to potential dangers that you should be aware of, but it is not a comprehensive guide. Before using the instrument, see the Site and Safety Information for a full description of these potential hazards.

Potential hazards during normal use

During normal use, most hazards are due to following sources:

  • Potentially hazardous samples and solvents
  • Parts of the spectrometer that are hot or emit heat
  • The instrument’s laser

You can avoid possibly harming yourself or damaging the instrument by understanding potential hazards and by taking a few precautions.

Hazardous samples and solvents

Take special precautions if you are using or plan to measure potentially hazardous samples or solvents, such as pressurized gases or corrosive or flammable solvents.

Use proper ventilation

There are no special ventilation requirements for your spectrometer, but you may need additional ventilation during certain types of analysis. Ensure that you have proper ventilation if you will be analyzing highly toxic samples, dissolving your samples in solvents that may interact with the infrared source, or sampling flammable gases.

The pyrolysis of solvents containing halogenated hydrocarbons may produce hydrochloric acid (HCl), hydroflouric acic (HF), or phosgene (COCl2).


WARNING Avoid toxic inhalation. Hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and phosgene are highly toxic. If you are using solvents containing halogenated hydrocarbons, ensure your work area is properly ventilated.

Volatile and flammable solvents

The infrared source inside the spectrometer can ignite flammable and volatile samples and solvents. Take the following actions when working with samples and solvents that are flammable:

  • Work with the sample compartment windows installed.
  • Ensure that the workspace is properly ventilated with an active venting system that is free of spark or other sources of ignition and that prevents flammable vapors from collecting in the atmosphere surrounding the instrument.
  • Do not leave flammable solvents or samples near the instrument.
  • Do not leave flammable solvents or samples in the sample compartment for longer than necessary.
  • Purge the spectrometer with clean, dry air or nitrogen.

Corrosive solvents

Solvents that produce HCl or HF vapors in the sample compartment may severely damage the system. If you are using halogenated solvents, purge the instrument with clean, dry air or nitrogen.

NOTICE Your warranty does not cover equipment damage that is due to a failure to purge the instrument.

HCl and HF vapors may also compromise the coating of KBr sample compartment windows. If you are planning to work with corrosive solvents regularly, consider installing ZnSe sample compartment windows, instead.

Biohazard or radioactive materials and infectious agents

Biological samples, such as tissues, body fluids, infectious agents, and blood, have the potential to transmit infectious diseases. Follow your organization’s Biosafety Program protocols for working with potentially infectious materials.

Sources of heat

Parts of the spectrometer can become quite hot during normal use. Be careful around the spectrometer’s infrared source and the vents.

Figure 1. Take care around the instrument’s infrared source and the vents


The outward facing surface of the infrared source is located on the bottom of the instrument and can become quite hot. Do not touch the underside of the instrument during operation or shortly after use.

The spectrometer’s vent is located on the left side of the instrument. During normal use, the spectrometer dissipates hot air from internal components to the area outside the spectrometer through these vents. Leave enough space around the instrument vents for hot air to dissipate.

Laser and optical safety

You will never be exposed to unsafe levels of laser radiation during normal use of the spectrometer. If the cover is removed during a service procedure, you may need to take special precautions, such as using protective eyewear. Your service person will notify you if this is necessary.


WARNING Avoid personal injury. Never stare into the laser beam or at its reflection. Never tamper with the laser, even if you are replacing a defective laser, or you could be exposed to laser light or to high voltage.

Potential hazards during maintenance

You may be exposed to different hazards while performing maintenance on the instrument than you would encounter during normal use. During maintenance, the primary hazards involve purging the instrument and working with the instrument’s internal components.

Purging the instrument

In especially humid environments, we recommend installing a source of clean, dry air or nitrogen to purge the spectrometer. Purging the instrument can help protect internal optical components from damage caused by a moist environment or corrosive solvents, and it can ensure more accurate results.

See “Install and Maintain a Purge Kit” for details on purchasing and installing a purge kit for your spectrometer.


DANGER Avoid fire and explosion hazard.

  • Use only dried air or nitrogen to purge your spectrometer.
  • Never use a flammable, combustible, or toxic gas to purge this instrument. The purge gas must be free of oil and other reactive materials. Heat from the source or from laser absorption may ignite flammable gases or reactive materials in the purge gas.

Working with internal components

Typically, there should be no reason for you to remove the instrument cover or attempt to replace internal components. However, if you need to remove the cover for maintenance, be aware that you risk being shocked, burned, and exposed to laser light.


CAUTION Avoid shock hazard.

Even after this instrument has been disconnected from all voltage sources, capacitors may remain charged for up to 30 seconds and can cause an electrical shock.


CAUTION Avoid burn hazard.

Internal components, especially the infrared source, can become extremely hot during normal operation. Turn off the instrument and wait at least 10 minutes before replacing any components.


WARNING Avoid personal injury.

  • Never stare into the laser beam or at its reflection. Never tamper with the laser. You could be exposed to laser light or high voltage.
  • If you adjust the laser or perform procedures that are not described in the user guides and manuals, you could be exposed to hazardous radiation.

Replacing the desiccant

When you open the desiccant compartment, you must prevent flammable liquids or gases from entering the compartment. For instructions on changing the desiccant, see “Replace the Desiccant.”


DANGER Avoid explosion hazard.

Before you open 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 could cause an explosion. If such entry occurs, contact us immediately and do not apply power to the instrument until the condition has been corrected.

Replacing the IR source

The IR source becomes extremely hot during use. If you need to replace the IR source, avoid burn and explosion hazards.


CAUTION Avoid burn hazard.

The source becomes extremely hot during normal use. Always allow the source to cool for at least 10 minutes after the spectrometer is turned off before you work with the source.


DANGER Avoid explosion hazard.

Before you remove the source from the spectrometer, turn off the instrument power, unplug the power cord, disconnect any purge lines, and remove all accessories and samples from the system. Entry of flammable liquids or gases into the source compartment could cause an explosion. If such entry occurs, contact us immediately and do not apply power to the instrument until the condition has been corrected.


The Nicolet Summit Spectrometer is a safe and rugged instrument, but you can be exposed to hazards during use and maintenance. During normal operation, use caution when handling potentially hazardous samples and solvents and avoid parts of the spectrometer that are hot or emit heat. During maintenance, take precautions to avoid harm or damage that could occur when purging the instrument, handling internal components, or changing the desiccant.

Unpacking and setting up your Nicolet Summit Spectrometer requires you to place the instrument in your workspace, to connect and power on the spectrometer, and to run a short performance test.

Before you begin

Wait 24 hours before taking the spectrometer out of its plastic shipping bag to prevent condensation from forming that can damage internal optics.

The warranty will not cover damage due to opening the sealed plastic bag before the instrument has come to room temperature.

For details on environmental factors when setting up your spectrometer’s workspace, see Before Your Spectrometer Arrives.

For information on avoiding hazards while using and maintaining your Summit spectrometer, see Personal Safety with the Spectrometer.

What’s in the box?

The Summit Spectrometer comes with several accessories and options. The following image shows what comes with your spectrometer, including many optional add-ons:

  1. Nicolet Summit Spectrometer
  2. Everest ATR accessory (optional)
  3. Attached touchscreen monitor (optional)
  4. Power cord
  5. Window replacement kit (optional), including ...
    • ZnSe windows (qty 2)
    • Window replacement tool
    • Nitrile gloves
  6. Purge Kit assembly (optional)
  1. Purge desiccant cartridge assembly, included with optional purge kit
  2. USB wireless mouse and keyboard (optional)
  3. Ethernet cable
  4. Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable (included with optional purchase of the 22” external monitor)
  5. Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter (optional)
  6. WiFi adapter (optional, comes preinstalled in spectrometer)

For more on available options and accessories, contact your local sales representative.

Setting up and installing the spectrometer

To set up your Summit Spectrometer

  1. Unpack the shipping box. Remove the spectrometer from the shipping box and place it in the prepared workspace.
  2. If you purchased the ZnSe windows option, replace the windows. For instructions on replacing the windows, see Replace the Sample Compartment Windows.
  3. Turn on the spectrometer.
    1. Connect the power supply to the spectrometer and to a properly grounded AC power source.
    2. Power on the instrument and allow it to warm up.
      The spectrometer’s LightBar will display a cycling green light while the instrument warms up and will show a solid green bar when the instrument is ready for use. See Understand the Spectrometer LightBar for a description of all of the LightBar’s signals.
  1. Connect or turn on the monitor
    • If you are using the attached touchscreen monitor, use two hands to grasp the sides of the monitor and position it so that it faces you.
      – Press the power button on the touchscreen to turn it on. The power button is located on the lower, back side of the device.

    • If you using an external monitor, connect the monitor to the spectrometer using the Mini DisplayPort.
      – If you purchased the optional wireless keyboard and mouse, use the provided USB extension cable to place the USB wireless receiver farther from the USB 3.0 inputs.

NOTICE 2.4GHz wireless devices such as wireless keyboards and mice are known to interfere with USB 3.0 devices.

When using your wireless mouse and keyboard with an external monitor or with USB 3.0 devices (such as flash drives or hard drives) you may notice delayed input, missed keystrokes, or other performance issues with your devices.

Use the provided USB extension cable to place the USB wireless receiver farther from the Mini DisplayPort and USB connections to improve device performance.

  1. (Optional) Connect to a wireless or local network.
    • If connecting via Ethernet cable, connect the cable to the instrument’s Ethernet port.
    • If using the WiFi dongle, the dongle comes preinstalled in the spectrometer.
      The spectrometer’s on-board computer uses the Windows 10 operating system. For details on connecting to a wireless or local network, see Windows 10 user guides.
  1. Verify the spectrometer’s performance
    1. Start OMNIC Paradigm software. The first time you start the software, the software will open with the touchscreen interface. To switch to the desktop interface, open the menu and select Desktop. The software will now open in whichever interface you were last using.
    2. Run the performance verification (PV) workflow
      The performance verification workflow uses a polystyrene reference material inside the spectrometer to run a series of standard tests to verify your instrument operation and to ensure the accuracy of your data.
      • To run the PV workflow in desktop mode, double-click Nicolet FTIR - PV Test in the Workflows pane and follow the on-screen prompts.
      • To run the PV workflow in touchscreen mode, open the Workflows tab, touch the more-options icon on Nicolet FTIR - PV Test and touch the Run icon.
        For an overview of other qualification methods and workflows, see “Qualify Your Nicolet Summit Spectrometer.”

The spectrometer is ready for use.

Next steps

After unpacking and setting up your Summit Spectrometer, you’re ready to start measuring and analyzing samples.

OMNIC Paradigm Software comes pre-installed on the Nicolet Summit and Summit PRO Spectrometers, so all you need to start working is a monitor. Use the optional touchscreen or connect to an external monitor.

Connecting to an external monitor with the Mini DisplayPort gives you added flexibility. Connect a USB mouse and keyboard when using OMNIC Paradigm Software for desktop.

To connect to an external monitor

  1. Connect a Mini DisplayPort cable to the Mini DisplayPort input on the spectrometer.
    A Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable is provided when you purchase a monitor with your Summit Spectrometer.

NOTICE 2.4GHz wireless devices such as wireless keyboards and mice are known to interfere with USB 3.0 devices. If you are using a 2.4GHz wireless device, you may notice interference when a USB 3.0 or Mini DisplayPort device is connected. If you notice performance issues with your wireless devices, consider using wired devices or use a USB extension cable to position the wireless receiver as far as possible from the USB 3.0 and Mini DisplayPort connections.

The Nicolet Summit Spectrometer accommodates a wide variety of sampling accessories, including integrated accessories and those that require additional adapters.

Integrated accessories and baseplates are easy to install and remove and are recognized automatically by OMNIC Paradigm Software.

Installing integrated accessories

Integrated accessories such as the Thermo Scientific Everest ATR Accessory fit over two alignment pins on the spectrometer baseplate and are held in place by magnets.

  1. Pins
  2. Magnets

To install an integrated accessory

  1. Hold the accessory by the front and rear handles and lower it into the spectrometer sample compartment. Magnets hold the accessory in place.
  1. If you are purging your instrument, attach the purge line labeled “To accessory” to the purge inlet on the back of the accessory. See Install a Purge Kit for more information.

    1. Purge inlet

Note To remove an accessory, disconnect the purge line if necessary and then grasp the accessory by the handles and lift it up. When not using an accessory, store it in a dust-free environment, such as a cabinet or box.

Installing baseplate-mounted accessories

The iD Base Adapter accommodates a wide variety of accessories for FTIR sampling, including large transmission accessories and other specialized accessories.


Note Avoid installing the iD Base Adapter without an attached accessory. Very strong magnets hold the adapter in place; you may need to use a tool to pry it free.


For slide-mounted accessories that are too big for the iD1 Transmission Accessory, a slide mount that fits the iD base is available.

The iD Base Adapter has two sets of screw holes so the slide mount can be installed facing either direction. To install the slide mount, position it over the screw holes, and then insert and tighten the two washers and screws.

Use the height adjustment screw to raise or lower a sample or accessory to align it in the infrared beam.


To install an accessory using the iD base adapter

  1. Attach the accessory to the iD Base Adapter.
  2. Place the iD Base Adapter on the two pins in the spectrometer baseplate. Strong magnets hold the adapter and accessory in place.

Installing slide-mounted accessories

The iD1 Transmission accessory is designed to accommodate gas or liquid transmission cells and thin film or pellet holders that have a 2” X 3” slide mount.


To install a slide-mounted accessory

  1. Slide the accessory into one pair of slots in the iD1 Transmission Accessory.

Choose a pair of slots that will place the center of the accessory at the beam focus (designated by arrow heads on the accessory housing).


The Nicolet Summit FTIR Spectrometer features a convenient LightBar that gives you a quick, visual pass/fail indication of product quality and instrument status at a glance.

The following tables describes all of the LightBar’s signals.

Warming up

Signal System status Description
Green Cycle
System is on and warming up Green light moves from left to right repeatedly. Warm-up time is approximately 2 minutes.

Traditional collection

Signal System status Description
Solid Green
Ready for use The full LightBar displays solid green
Green Comet
Collecting data Small section of green light bounces back and forth

Smart collection

Signal System status Description
Blue Pulse
Collecting Smart Background Full LightBar pulses blue
Blue Comet
Collecting sample data (user initiated) Small section of blue light bounces back and forth

Analysis results

Signal System status Description
Green % Fill
Match value or QCheck result above threshold Green fill to reflect match value. For example, fills approximately 90% for a match value of 90.
Orange % Fill
Match value or QCheck result below threshold Orange fill to reflect match value. For example, fills approximately 30% for a match value of 30.


Signal System status Description
Red Flash
System error Full LightBar flashes red. See System Status in OMNIC Paradigm software for a description of the error.

OMNIC Anywhere is a cloud-based application that allows you to view, explore, or share your data from a connected PC, Apple computer, Android or iOS device.

Figure 1. OMNIC Anywhere in the web browser


With a Nicolet Summit or Summit Pro Spectrometer and a free Connect account, measure samples in the classroom or lab, upload the data to your Connect account, and view, explore, or share the data on another device in your dorm or workspace.

For instructions on creating a Connect account and viewing your data with OMNIC Anywhere, visit “Cloud-enabled FTIR Spectroscopy”.