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NIST Spectrophotometry Short Course


Spectrophotometry short course logoThe NIST Spectrophotometry Short Course is offered every 2 years and covers the fundamentals of science and technology related to the accurate measurement of optical properties of materials. Participants will gain a good understanding of the theory and practice of spectrophotometry using dispersive and Fourier-transform techniques as well as optical scatterometry. Particular emphasis is placed on the evaluation of uncertainties in transmittance, reflectance, and bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) measurements.

2013 NIST Spectrophotometry Short Course
May 13-17, 2013
NIST Gaithersburg, Maryland

The NIST Spectrophotometry Short Course is a 5-day course held at NIST Gaithersburg, Maryland. The course consists of lectures and hands-on laboratory experiments covering the fundamentals of optical properties measurements, such as transmittance, reflectance, and BRDF. Important sources of uncertainty and the relative merits of different experimental techniques, including dispersive, Fourier-transform, and laser-based schemes, are also addressed. The course concludes with laboratory presentations by the students and an open discussion forum with NIST scientists.

Attendance for the course is limited to 12 participants. Pre-registration is required and acceptance is determined on a first-come, first-served basis.

Who Should Attend

This course is intended for engineers, scientists, technicians, managers, or others involved in the design or use of optical instrumentation, optical testing, or physical sciences in which optical properties of materials measurements are important.


Monday, May 13
1:30 pm Welcome to NIST
   1:50 pm Lectures 1 to 3
   5:00 pm Adjourn

Tuesday, May 14
   8:15 am Lectures 4 to 7
   12:00 pm Lunch
   1:00 pm Lab Instructor Briefing
   1:20 pm Experiments
   5:30 pm Adjourn

Wednesday, May 15
   8:15 am Lectures 8 to 10
   12:00 pm Lunch
   1:00 pm Lab Instructor Briefing
   1:20 pm Experiments
   5:30 pm Adjourn

Thursday, May 16
   8:15 am Lectures 11 to 13
   12:00 pm Lunch
   1:00 pm Lab Instructor Briefing
   1:20 pm Experiments
   5:30 pm Adjourn

Friday, May 17
   8:30 am Student Presentations
   9:30 am Panel Discussion
   10:00 am Laboratory Tours
   12:00 pm Lunch & Adjourn

Lecture Topics:

• Overview
• Fundamentals of spectrophotometry
• Theory of optical properties of materials
• Dispersive spectrophotometry
• Fourier-transform spectrophotometry
• Measurement of scattered light and BRDF
• Diffuse reflectance and integrating spheres
• Error propagation and uncertainty analysis
• Colorimetry and appearance
• Emissivity measurements and temperature dependent optical properties
• Polarization in spectrophotometry
• Hyperspectral Imaging
• NIST test and measurement services in spectrophotometry

Hands-on Laboratory Experiments:

• Dispersive spectrophotometry
• Fourier-transform spectrophotometry
• Scatterometry


Start Date: Monday, May 13, 2013
End Date: Friday, May 17, 2013
Location: NIST Gaithersburg
Format: Other


The registration fees are $2,000 per person for the complete 5-day course. Both fees include course materials (including reference books: Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry by Peter R. Griffiths, James A. De Haseth, and James D. Winefordner; Optical Scattering: Measurement and Analysis by John C. Stover; and Applied Spectroscopy by Jerry Workman and Art Springsteen), coffee breaks, lunches, and a dinner. Pre-registration is required. Registration for the course is limited to 12 attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrations will be accepted in the order they are received by NIST. Registration and payment must be received by Monday, May 6, 2013. There will be no on-site registration. Cancellations and/or substitutions must be requested, in writing, by May 6, 2013, and no refunds will be made after this date.

To download the registration form, click here. Please complete the registration form and fax it to Stephanie Halton at 435-713-3007.

Registration Contact:

Teresa Vicente
301-975-3883 Telephone
301-948-2067 Facsimile

100 Bureau Drive, M/S 1071
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1071


Workshop registration does not include your hotel reservation. However, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Gaithersburg Holiday Inn, Gaithersburg 301-948-8900. A special rate of $125 single or double, plus 12% tax, has been arranged for attendees. Reservations must be received by April 15, 2013. After that date the rooms will be released for general sale at the prevailing rates of the hotel. If you phone in your reservation, please mention that you are attending the “NIST Spectrophotometry Short Course.”

To register for a room, contact the hotel for reservations by April 15, 2013, at:

Gaithersburg Holiday Inn
301-948-8900 Telephone
301-258-1940 Facsimile

Two Montgomery Village Avenue
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879


This course will be held in the NIST Metrology Building (220), Room B343 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. For transportation information and driving directions, see Transportation to NIST.

Technical Contact:

Simon Kaplan
301-975-2336 Telephone
301-840-8551 Facsimile

100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8441
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8441