Category Archives: SCOUT

New import routine for old Optoplex IIC files

Starting with object generation 4.91 the SCOUT and CODE software packages can import exsitu spectra reading text files generated by the Zeiss Optoplex IIC software. The routine can be called executing the menu command Actions/Spectra/Import/Import all spectra from an Optoplex IIC exsitu file.

Please note that in this format the wavelength range of the measured data always starts at 380 nm. Wavelength increment from point to point is 5 nm.

Spectral data are stored in % by Optoplex – you have to set the option to automatically divide incoming data by 100 in all receiving spectrum objects.

Password protected views (object generation 4.88)

SCOUT and CODE are more and more used for routine work, often being operated by users not familiar with these software packages. You can protect the configuration against unwanted modifications by setting a global password (main menu: File/Options/Password). This option is available for a long time already.

In complex methods using several views you can now define individual passwords for each view. This way you can avoid every user being able to access every view. A typical scenario would be a measurement system that shows a few control elements in a view for routine measurements, and more details and controls for expert users in an advanced view. If the ‘expert view’ is password protected it can be seen and used by selected users only.

Parameter fluctuation

Doing a parameter fluctuation you were limited to a maximum of 250 realizations. Starting with object generation 4.86 this limit has been increased to 65000.

Since computations with many iterations take quite a long time the status bar at the bottom of the main window (if not visible, show it by hitting the key ‘s’ on your keyboard) shows the progress of the work.

Results of the parameter fluctuation are stored in the workbook. We recommend to store the workbook to a file and open this file with Excel in order to further process the data. The workbook component integrated in SCOUT or CODE is not very convenient to handle large amounts of data.

New fit option

We have included a new fit option which helps to increase the speed of analysis in time critical applications: In methods which use pre-fit sets in the list of fit parameters you can now include the current fit parameter values in the pre-fit search. This eventually avoids many fit iterations if differences between consecutive measurements are small.

The new feature can be turned on or off in the dialog of fit options.


Slider upgrade

The small slider windows that can float around on the desktop have been enhanced. You can now easily set the lower and upper slider limits based on the current parameter value: You can choose between +/- a percentage or +/- an absolute value by a single mouse click. There is an option to apply this setting to all sliders.

In addition, you can now easily group all sliders on the screen below a ‘master slider’.

Thickness fits: Automatic slider range

Starting with object generation 4.77 you can generate low and high limits for fit parameters automatically when you generate them – at least for thickness values. In the fit options dialog (File/Options/Fit) you can set a percentage (lower right corner) which is used to compute the low and high limit of the available thickness range. The reference value is the thickness value at the time the new fit parameter is generated.

Note that the automatically generated range is also the range of parameter sliders that are based on fit parameters.

Note also that you can automatically generate thin film thickness values as fit parameters by drag&drop of a layer stack to the list of fit parameters in the treeview. If the list of fit parameters is shown in a view this is certainly the fastest way of generating thickness sliders.

Here is an example showing sliders with limits of +/-5% that have been generated automatically:

WOSP Sunblock

sunblock 2

A halogen light, 16 UV-LEDs and an integrating sphere have been combined with 2 spectrometers to the WOSP Sunblock system. It measures reflectance in the range 300 … 1050 nm, with the option to extend the NIR range up to 2500 nm.

illumination and sphere

The light sources inject radiation into a sphere (76 mm diameter). The intensity at the sphere wall as well as the intensity reflected by the sample are simultaneously recorded with 2 spectrometers. Signals recorded for a reference mirror and the sample are combined to compute the final reflectance of the sample.

side view

The whole block can be mounted on a traverse or a robot arm – only electrical cables leave the system.

rack system

The rack mounted system shown above has been used to record some demonstration spectra discussed below. All spectra have been acquired in less than one second.

Since the final spectrum is based on ratios of spectra the absolute light source intensity cancels – this leads to very stable results. The spectra shown below have been recorded with a delay of more than half an hour:


The next set of spectra show reflectance spectra of float glass with SiN layers of different thickness:


The last demo set shows spectra of solar glass with AR coatings, applied on one side only and on both sides of the glass:set3