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.

Input Current1.6 A Max
Input Voltage100–240 VAC
Line Frequency47–63
Line DisturbancesSags, surges, or other line disturbances must not exceed 10% of input voltage
NoiseLess 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 Thermo Scientific 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..

Reminder: Review the spectrometer's Site and Safety Information to ensure that the workspace is safe and suitable for the instrument.

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. Summit or Summit PRO Spectrometer
2. Power cord
3. Ethernet cable


4. Everest ATR Accessory
5. Touchscreen monitor
6. ZnSe window replacement kit, including window replacement tool and nitrile gloves

7. Purge kit
8. Wireless keyboard and mouse (not shown: USB extension cable)
9. Mini DisplayPort cable (included with the optional 22” high-definition monitor)
10. Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter
11. WiFi access dongle (comes pre-installed if purchased)

Not shown: Optional 22” High-Definition Monitor


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

Unpacking and Setup

The steps for unpacking and setting up your spectrometer vary somewhat depending on the options you purchased.

1. Unpack the shipping box

Remove the spectrometer from the shipping box and bag and remove additional packing materials

2. Set up the monitor.

  • If you have the attached touchscreen monitor, grasp the monitor by the sides and position it to face the front of the instrument.
  • If you are using an external monitor, connect the monitor to the spectrometer using the Mini DisplayPort. If you are also using the optional wireless mouse and keyboard, use the provided USB extension cable to position the wireless receiver farther from the USB inputs.

Note Some USB and Mini DisplayPort devices are known to interfere with the signal from wireless USB devices, such as wireless keyboards and mice. If you notice performance issues with your wireless keyboard and mouse, such as lag or delayed or missed input, use the provided USB extension cable to position the wireless USB receiver farther from the USB ports.

3. (Optional) Replace the sample compartment windows.

If you purchased the ZnSe windows option, replace the windows. For instructions on replacing the windows, see Replace the Sample Compartment Windows.

4. Turn on the spectrometer

a. Connect the power supply to the spectrometer and to a properly grounded AC power source.

b. Press the instrument’s power button to turn on the spectrometer. 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.

5. Verify the spectrometer's performance.

Before taking the following steps, make sure there is not a sampling accessory in the sampling compartment.

a. Launch the Thermo Scientific™ OMNIC™ Paradigm software. The first time the software starts, it will open with the touchscreen interface. Later, you can switch between the touchscreen and the desktop interfaces.

b. Align the spectrometer optics.

i. Touch the diagnostics icon [  ] to open the instrument diagnostics.

ii. Navigate to the Align tab and touch Align. The alignment process may take several minutes to complete.

c. Calibrate the laser.

i. Navigate to the Laser Calibration tab and touch Calibrate. Laser calibration may take several minutes to complete. When calibration is finished, the display shows “Measurement complete” and  indicates any change in laser frequency.

The instrument takes up to 12 hours to come to thermal equilibrium. For best results, re-run steps b and c after the first 12 hours of operation.

d. Run the Nicolet FTIR - Factory Qualification workflow.

Performance verification and qualification workflows use 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.

i. Return to the Home screen.

ii. Navigate to the Workflows tab and select Nicolet FTIR - Factory Qualification.

iii. To run the workflow, touch the Run icon and follow the on-screen prompts.

For more on performance verification and qualification workflows, see Qualify Your Spectrometer.

6. Insert a sampling accessory

To install the optional Everest ATR accessory or iD1 Transmission accessory, grasp the accessory by the front and rear handholds and lower the accessory onto the spectrometer. Sampling accessories fit over two alignment pins on the spectrometer baseplate and are held in place by strong magnets.

Next Steps

Congratulations! Your instrument is ready for use. However, before you start collecting data, back up your system and create a recovery drive to protect your system frorm potential problems in the future. Windows 10 includes several built-in tools for backing up and recovering your data.

For instructions on creating a recovery drive and system image and on restoring your system, see “Back up and Recover Your Data.”

Before you start collecting data, you should take a few precautionary steps to protect your system from potential problems in the future. Windows 10 includes several built-in tools for backing up and recovering your data.

IMPORTANT! To ensure that you can recover any data in the event of damage to the hard drive or operating system, create recovery media, create a system image, and establish procedures for backing up your data. 

Create a Recovery Drive

Create a recovery drive so that you can access advanced startup options in Windows 10—such as System Image Recovery, System Restore, and Startup Settings—even in your installation of Windows becomes damaged.

Required Materials 

  • FAT32 formatted flash drive with at least 8 GB of storage

To create a recovery drive

  1. Insert the flash drive in one of the USB ports on the side of the spectrometer.
  2. In the Windows 10 search box in the taskbar, search for “Create Recovery Drive” and select Create Recovery Drive.


  3. When asked to allow changes to your device, select Yes.
  4. De-select “Back up system files to the recovery drive” and click Next.
  5. Select your drive from list of available drives and click Next.

  6. Click Create. When the process is finished, click Finish to close the window.
  7. Safely remove the flash drive and store it in a safe place. It’s a good idea to label the drive as Summit Recovery Drive.

For more on creating recovery media, see Microsoft’s online help.

Create a System Image

A system image is a snapshot of your entire system, including your data and files, installed applications, and other settings. In case of complete hard drive or operating system failure, you can use the system image to restore your device to the state it was in when the image was created. It is up to you how often you want to update the system image, but it’s a good idea to keep an image of a clean installation from the first time you set up your instrument.

Depending on how much data you copy to the system image, the process may take a while. If you are copying a large amount of data, it may take more than an hour for the process to complete.

Required Materials

  • NTFS formatted SSD

To create a system image

  1. Connect your SSD to one of the spectrometer’s USB ports.
  2. In Windows 10, open the Control Panel and select Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
  3. In the left panel, select Create a system image.

  4. Select On a hard disk and select your SSD from the list. Click Next.

  5. Confirm the backup settings and click Start backup.
  6. When asked “Do you want to create a system repair disc,” click No.
  7. Click Close and safely remove the SSD from the Summit. Label the drive as Summit Recovery and store it in safe place.

Restore Your System

In case of operating system failure, use your recovery drive and system image to restore your system.

Required materials

  • USB recovery drive
  • SSD with your system image

To restore your system using the recovery drive and system image

  1. Turn off the Summit spectrometer.
  2. Connect an external keyboard to one of the Summit spectrometer’s USB ports.
  3. Connect the USB recovery drive to one of the USB ports.
  4. Turn the system on.
  5. When the screen shows the Thermo Scientific splash screen, tap “Esc” on the keyboard several times to open the system BIOS.
    If a popup dialog shows “Quit Without Saving?” use the arrow keys to select No.
  6. Using the arrow keys, navigate to the Save & Exit tab.
  7. Navigate to the Boot Override section and select your recovery flash drive. Hit Enter to boot to the recovery image.

  8. When the “Choose your keyboard layout” screen appears, remove the recovery flash drive from the USB port and insert the system image SSD.
  9. Select your preferred keyboard layout.
  10. In the Choose an Option screen, select Troubleshoot.

  11. Select Advanced options.
  12. Under Advanced options, select System Image Recovery.

  13. Select Windows 10 as the target operating system.
  14. In the “Select a system image backup” window, use the latest available system image or select another system image. Click Next.

  15. Click Next to leave additional restore options in their default state, and click Finish to restore the system image. Click Yes to confirm.

Restoring takes about 15 minutes, and the system will automatically reboot when complete.

When the system is back on, safely remove the SSD from the spectrometer and store both the recovery drive and system image SSD in a safe place. 

For information on restoring the system to the image, see Microsoft’s online help.

Back Up Your System Data

In addition to creating recovery media and a system image, you should regularly back up your data. Windows 10 features several options for backing up files, including the File History tool. The information technology (IT) personnel at your organization should determine which backup methods are best for your organization’s needs.

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.

Note Some USB and Mini DisplayPort devices are known to interfere with the signal from wireless USB devices, such as wireless keyboards and mice. If you notice performance issues with your wireless keyboard and mouse, such as lag or delayed or missed input, use the provided USB extension cable to position the wireless USB receiver farther from the USB ports.

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

SignalSystem statusDescription
Green Cycle
System is on and warming upGreen light moves from left to right repeatedly. Warm-up time is approximately 2 minutes.

Traditional collection

SignalSystem statusDescription
Solid Green
Ready for useThe full LightBar displays solid green
Green Comet
Collecting dataSmall section of green light bounces back and forth

Smart collection

SignalSystem statusDescription
Blue Pulse
Collecting Smart BackgroundFull LightBar pulses blue
Blue Comet
Collecting sample data (user initiated)Small section of blue light bounces back and forth

Analysis results

SignalSystem statusDescription
Green % Fill
Match value or QCheck result above thresholdGreen fill to reflect match value. For example, fills approximately 90% for a match value of 90.
Orange % Fill
Match value or QCheck result below thresholdOrange fill to reflect match value. For example, fills approximately 30% for a match value of 30.


SignalSystem statusDescription
Red Flash
System errorFull 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”.

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