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Scantraq controls and acquires data from Perkin Elmer, Agilent (HP, Cary), Ocean Optics, etc. Scantraq provides a powerful, flexible and well-supported alternative to the software supplied by instrument manufacturers.

Scantraq LT supports Lambda 2 through 45  spectrophotometers as well as Lambda Bio/XLS, Ocean Optics, StellarNet, Agilent  (HP) 8453, and Cary 1-3 (100-300). Please contact us for further information.

Why buy Scantraq when you already have PerkinElmer or Cary software?

Flash Video Demos

  • One Program - Many Instruments. It makes no sense to run 3 programs for 3 instruments when all 3 can be controlled by Scantraq. (1.25 min)

  • Why Scantraq?  Automation! That's why! See how Scantraq interfaces with ancillary hardware and software (like Excel). (2 min).

  • Graph Automation. Graphics for quality assurance and reports that far exceed the capabilities of instrument manufacturers' DAQ software. (2.75 min)

The instruments listed below are directly supported. Scantraq users can run all; i.e. there is no additional charge for running a Lambda 900 and Cary 500 from the same computer. Please contact us for information about other models. Scantraq can also be utilized with other instruments as described here.

We are often asked about Shimadzu and Hitachi. Despite requests from their own sales teams, management refuses to document control codes and/or drivers. (Our Hitachi support is only for legacy models.) We recommend that you buy their instruments only if pleased with the current capabilities of Shimadzu's UVProbe or Hitachi's UV Solutions.  We are unable to provide automation support; the best we can do is import and convert spectral data files.

Lambda 2/10/12/14/20/40/25/35/45, 9, 19, 650-1050 (URA, TDM); Lambda Bio/XLS; 580B-983G (IR); Spectrum GX,  Spectrum One, 100 & Frontier (FTIR)

Agilent (HP, Varian) 8453 Diode-Array (GPIB, serial/USB, LAN); Cary 50/60, 1-5, 100-500, 4000-6000i, and new version supporting UMA and Solids Autosampler. Click here to learn more.
Hitachi Legacy U-3210, U-3410 (3200/3400) only.
Nicolet (Thermo Scientific) Models supported by OMNIC. Click here for Flash demo.
Ocean Optics Models supported by OmniDriver. Click here for Flash demo.
Carl Zeiss MCS 500 Series
StellarNet Instruments supported by SpectraWiz


Perkin Elmer Lambda XLS
PerkinElmer Lambda XLS

Agilent Cary 7000

Perkin Elmer Lambda 1050
PerkinElmer Lambda 1050

Perkin Elmer Spectrum 100
PerkinElmer FTIR

Ocean Optics
Ocean Optics

Perkin-Elmer 983

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Scantraq Main Screen

Scantraq Advantages

With its built-in Development System Scantraq enables rapid and economical implementation of spectroscopy-based solutions. Scantraq offers numerous advantages:

  • The same user-interface for different instruments. 
  • No additional charge for different instruments.
  • Ability to develop turnkey applications and control other devices.
  • Custom procedures including Scan Macros
  • Highly compatible with GRAMS software
  • Built-in CIE color analysis, custom calculations
  • Object-level Microsoft Office integration

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PE Lambda 900 Settings

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PE 983G Settings

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PE Spectrum GX (2000) Settings

Instrument Settings

Scan methods are edited in Scantraq and uploaded as required. While application software supplied by spectrophotometer manufacturers is not run during Scantraq operation, there are cases where manufacturer's driver software and FTG servers are utilized:

  • Perkin Elmer's Spectrum software (32-bit Windows) is required for legacy GX (2000) initialization and setup. Configurations are stored as Setup Files (*.set). The name of the setup file is subsequently specified in Scantraq. Since Scantraq can change scan range, only a few Setup Files are required in practice.
  • Click here for information about PE Spectrum FTIR. Spectrum Express users are advised to update to Spectrum 10.
  • Click here for information about Ocean Optics. Nicolet is supported via commands sent to OMNIC software.
  • Agilent's WinUV is required for Cary operation. Only a minimum installation (Cary System + Scan application) is needed.
  • Perkin Elmer's UV Winlab 6.04 or newer is required for Lambda 650-1050 operation with Universal Reflectance Accessory or Triple Detector Module.

PerkinElmer Lambda 16/18/19 is supported on 32-bit Windows XP/Vista/7 via a PCI board and custom cable. Click here for important details. The Agilent 8453 version supports NI and HP IEEE-488 cards.


Do your older PE instruments need service? We suggest you contact Mono Instruments.

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8453 Lamp Intensity Test

8453 Diagnostic Capabilities

The Agilent (HP) 8453 version of Scantraq adds diagnostic capabilities. This reduces or eliminates the need to use ChemStation software for diagnostic purposes. Unlike ChemStation, Scantraq supports the 8453's serial (USB) interface as well as LAN. It also supports NI GPIB, but this offers no advantage for most users.

Program Modes

Scantraq supports absorbance, 'V' and 'VW' reflectance modes. Wavelength units include Angstroms, nm, microns, and 1/cm. Data file types: Sample, Baseline (blocked sample beam, usually 0%), Reference (open sample beam, usually 100%), and 'NIST' Standard files. Data files may be loaded from disk, scanned or replaced by constants as appropriate. For ease of use Baseline, Reference, and Standard spectra need not have the same wavelength spacing as Sample data. During data acquisition results are plotted on-screen in spectrophotometer units (0-100%); final reduced values are displayed in physical units.

Scan Range

Scan Range is defined by three wavelength or wavenumber values: minimum, maximum and interval. In addition a Wave (length/number) List can be specified. The Wave List is useful for spectra with differing characteristics in different bands, i.e. blocking in two regions and transmission in another. The Wave List is also useful for devices whose specifications are defined at particular laser wavelengths. Infrared instruments which actually scan in wavenumbers (1/cm) can appear to scan in wavelength (nm or microns).

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Spectra Format Options

Spectra Data Format

There are four formats for measured data files:

  1. .csv, comma-separated values
  2. .dx, J-CAMP spectroscopy format
  3. .spc, Galactic Industries GRAMS format
  4. .xls, Excel (Excel not required)

Development Modules

Going beyond its friendly Windows point and click interface, Scantraq includes programmable development modules for automation, user-defined procedures, calculations, graphs and reports. The optional Scantraq Database provides industry-standard (MS Access-compatible) database technology including SQL.
Scantraq BASIC An interpreter with syntax highly compatible with Microsoft VBA. Includes dialog editor, interface to user-developed DLL's, DDE, 32-bit Windows objects browser. BASIC Automates all other modules in the Development System.
Scantraq Workbook An Excel-compatible spreadsheet for calculating spectral functions.
SQPlot Module Publication-quality annotated graphs for measured spectra
Report Generator Previews and prints reports combining text, calculated results, and graphics.
Scantraq Database Use FileMaker Pro to sort and select spectral data. MS Access compatible support also provided. (optional)
Automation Client-server integration with other Windows applications.
Film Thickness Module

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Fringe counting for
moderately thick films

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FFT method for
very thick films

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FFT verification

The Film Thickness Module enables users to quickly and automatically obtain film thickness in cases where films are thick enough to display fringes. Fringe counting and FFT algorithms are available. Applications include lacquers and similar coatings. While film index must be known with reasonable accuracy, the substrate index is not required. A calibration routine compensates for any resulting errors.

The program is intended as an industrial tool and runs standalone or as ActiveX client or server. It includes Scantraq BASIC and can run Scantraq or be run from Scantraq. It can be used directly with our Ocean Optics or Zeiss ActiveX servers. It provides smoothing algorithms for dealing with noisy spectra.

Get Acrobat Reader A paper Film Thickness of 'Thick Thin Films' by Spectroscopy (129K) presented at the SVC 1998 meeting in Boston can be downloaded and printed.

For further information please contact

In order to reduce spam, we now reject RBL flagged e-mails. There is a tiny probability that legitimate e-mail will be rejected. If we do not reply to your e-mail in a timely manner (3-4 days) please inform us by fax (preferred) or telephone.

Fred Goldstein
FTG Software Associates
Post Office Box 579
Princeton, NJ 08542 USA
Tel (609) 924-6222
Fax (609) 482-8060

Copyright 2018 FTG Software Associates
Last updated on January 01, 2018