Qwiic NIR Spectral Sensor - AS7263

The Qwiic NIR Spectral Sensor uses the AS7263 near infrared spectrometer from AMS for spectral identification. What can you do with NIR spectroscopy? It's an amazing field of study, and the AS7263 brings what used to be prohibitively expensive equipment to the desktop. The AS7263 should not be confused with highly complex mass spectrometers, but the sensor does give the user the ability to measure and characterize how different materials absorb and reflect NIR light. This can be useful for measuring measuring reflective indices; photosynthetic light-use efficiency is one such example.

The AS7263 is the NIR version of the spectral sensor capable of measuring 610, 680, 730, 760, 810, and 860nm of light each with 20nm of full-width half-max detection.

The AS726x is unique in that it has both an I2C interface and a serial interface with AT commands. The default is I2C but can be changed with two jumpers. We added the common serial connector so you can connect directly to a computer via USB-to-Serial if needed.

The on-board 5700k extremely bright white LED will illuminate the sample you are measuring. If needed, the LED can be disabled and a low voltage incandescent bulb can be used for better black-body illumination during readings. Additionally, the AS7263 has an electronic shutter meaning you can turn the light source (LED or bulb) on and off via software. You can also control the current to the light source (12.5, 25, 50, and 100mA), which varies the brightness enabling different exposure levels of the sample.

We've added an .stl file of a light-blocking shroud for this board, to make it possible to block out any ambient light, making for more consistent reading from multiple surfaces.

The Qwiic NIR Spectral Sensor has two Qwiic connectors on board. The Qwiic system enables fast and solderless connection between popular platforms and various sensors and actuators. You can read more about the Qwiic system here. We carry 200mm, 100mm, 50mm, and breadboard friendly Qwiic cables.

We do not plan to regularly produce SparkX products so get them while they’re hot!

Experimental Product: SparkX products are rapidly produced to bring you the most cutting edge technology as it becomes available. These products are tested but come with no guarantees. Live technical support is not available for SparkX products. Head on over to our forum for support or to ask a question.
  • Voltage: 3.3V
  • Current: 5mA LED off, 105mA with LED at full brightness
  • On-board extremely bright white 5700k inspection LED
  • Software controllable status and inspection light source
  • Footprint for external black-body radiator (incandescent bulb)
  • 4mbit SPI Flash pre-programmed with AMS firmware


Qwiic NIR Spectral Sensor - AS7263 Product Help and Resources

AS726X NIR/VIS Spectral Sensor Hookup Guide

October 19, 2017

It's now easier than ever to measure and characterize how different materials absorb and reflect different wavelengths of light. The AS726X spectral sensors allow you to detect wavelengths in the visible range (VIS) and near infrared range (NIR)!


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • schizobovine / about 7 years ago / 1

    From the checkbox on the back, were there any plans on doing a run using the AS7262 (visible light version)?

    • schizobovine / about 7 years ago / 1

      To answer my own question, yup: Qwiic Visible Spectral Sensor - AS7262.

      Fun pair of 6 channel sensors; sorta sucks they use the same I2C addresses, though, as that makes pairing them a bit more difficult. Switched to a board with multiple I2C buses to work around that, though.

  • Kiko Lobo / about 7 years ago / 1

    Can this be used to detect PH or Ammonia in water?

  • Member #974629 / about 7 years ago / 1

    Is the memory on the board comes with the latest firmware ? If no what programmer I can use to flash it ?

    • Board comes programmed with the latest firmware from AMS. We used an SPI programmer with a 3D printed pogo jig to program the flash.

  • jremington / about 7 years ago / 1

    "The AS7263 should not be confused with highly complex mass spectrometers". True, since mass spectrometers measure PARTICLE MASS, not light.

  • Cathy2 / about 7 years ago / 1

    Use this to detect ghosts.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

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Dear sir , thank's for follow up we purchased a Qwiiic NIR AS 7263 so we need to ask you on witch platform did you test it this to be sure that every thing is geint well. We plan to use it with an STM32 module so if you have any available solution this will be fine. Do you have an Arduino sketch that manage all the Qwiic modules at a time. Is it possible to give you some work around this matter . Best regards Azdine

Fun little sensor

Neat little sensor. Code provided by SparkFun was relatively easy to get working, data provided by sensor is fairly clean (and hopefully accurate within the given specs).

Beware if you plan on using it with it's visible light version cousin, Qwiic Visible Spectral Sensor - AS7262, as they share the same I2C address (and it's not modifiable). I wound up using a Teensy 3.2 which has two I2C buses. I modified the code a little to use the Teensy's i2c_t3 library so I could access both simultaneously.

My favorite thing about the data sheet is that they calibrated the raw count values to metric units of flux (uW/cm^2), which makes interpreting the data much easier. For this NIR version, it's 35 counts per uW/cm^2.

The proprietary firmware stuff bothers me a bit, but hardly the first platform/device to feature it.