ENLIGHTEN™ Manual: User Controls

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The following controls are available in a vertically scrolling column along the right-hand side of all screens.

4.1.1.1 Light Source Control

This control allows you to turn your light source (typically an internal laser) on or off, and control the output wattage as a percentage of “full power” using either a vertical slider (up being maximum), or using the up/down arrows and editable numeric field for more precise control.

Light source control

Future versions of ENLIGHTEN™ may make this a horizontal slider to save space.

4.1.1.2 Detector Control

This control allows you to set integration time in milliseconds using either the horizontal slider or the fine-grained up/down arrows and editable numeric field. You can also enable the external trigger if your spectrometer supports that feature (see section on Error: Reference source not found).

Longer integration times will help you detect extremely faint light sources such as Raman Stokes scattering, but will also somewhat increase noise and baseline by allowing more time for electrical readout noise and ambient light to accumulate.

Detector control

4.1.1.3 Scan Averaging

One of the simplest ways to improve Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) is by averaging over time using multiple samples. To enable in ENLIGHTEN™, all you have to do is use the up/down arrows or editable numeric field to set a value larger than 1.

When averaging is enabled, a second line appears on the control widget, stating “collecting X of Y” samples. This allows you to know how soon the next fully-averaged measurement will be complete. While individual spectra are being collected towards the next averaged spectrum, each can be seen graphed faintly on the main chart as a gray trace.

Note that when you “store dark” and “store reference” in the Setup pane, those darks and references retain both scan averaging and boxcar smoothing settings.

Scan averaging

4.1.1.4 Temperature Control

This control allows you to configure the “setpoint” (desired or target temperature in °C) of the detector’s thermoelectric cooler (TEC). Different spectrometer models support different operating ranges with different optimal setpoints; the temperature control in ENLIGHTEN™ is automatically range-limited to the correct temperature range for your spectrometer, so that you cannot hurt anything by overdriving the TEC in either direction.

In general, colder detectors are capable of seeing lower level signals conclusively, as they have a lower baseline and less thermal noise.

Temperature control

4.1.1.5 Display Axis

The display axis control allows you to change the X-axis in your chart. Changing techniques will reset the axis to its default state for that mode.

Display axis

4.1.1.6 Boxcar Smoothing

While scan averaging is the most accurate way to smooth high-frequency noise in your spectra, it comes at the cost of increased measurement time. An alternative is a built-in data processing option called “boxcar smoothing”, which slides a moving average across the spectrum, averaging over wavelengths (space) instead of time.

Boxcars are defined in terms of a “half-width”, which is the number of pixels to the left and the right which are averaged into each pixel in the spectrum. That is to say, a boxcar of half-width 3 would replace each pixel with the average of 7 pixels (3 on the left, the original pixel value, then 3 on the right). A boxcar of 1 would average 3 pixels (1 left, original, then 1 right). By default, smoothing is set to 0 pixels, meaning no boxcar averaging is being applied.

If any of that “left you at the station,” note that mousing-over the boxcar controls will display a “tool-tip” clarifying how many pixels are being averaged together to generate each pixel in the smoothed spectrum.

Note that when you “store dark” and “store reference” in the Setup pane, those dark and reference spectra will retain the currently configured scan averaging and boxcar smoothing settings.

Boxcar smoothing

4.1.1.7 Cursor

The cursor widget displays a vertical red line on the spectral graph, which you can move left and right using the cursor control. The Y-value at the cursor is then displayed on the status bar below the graph for precise readings. Both X- and Y-axis units are reflective of the currently selected technique.

Cursor window

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