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  1. Giorgio Margaritondo,
  2. Jean-Louis Staehli

Published Online: 15 OCT 2004

DOI: 10.1002/3527600434.eap255.pub2

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Margaritondo, G. and Staehli, J.-L. 2004. Monochromators. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. .

Author Information

  1. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 OCT 2004


An overview on monochromators for electromagnetic radiation is presented. Instruments working in the infrared, visible, and ultraviolet spectral regions and for soft and hard X rays are briefly described, starting from the fundamental concepts and definitions. The major advantages, difficulties, and limits of the different designs are mentioned. An important part of the article is devoted to the very widely used grating monochromators.


  • prism monochromators;
  • Fabry–Perot etalons;
  • plane-, spherical- and toroidal-grating monochromators;
  • crystal monochromators;
  • birefringent filters;
  • temporal pulse stretcher