The TLC Scanner 4 is the most advanced workstation for densitometric evaluation of TLC/HPTLC chromatograms and other planar objects.

About TLC Scanner 4

Key features

  • Measurement of reflection, either in absorbance or fluorescence mode
  • Object formats up to 20 x 20 cm
  • Spectral range from 190 to 900 nm
  • Automatic start of all lamps: deuterium, halogen-tungsten, and highpressure mercury lamp
  • Data step resolution 25–200 μm
  • Scanning speed 1–100 mm/s
  • Spectrum recording up to 100 nm/s
  • Automatic selection of electronic amplification
  • Rapid data transfer

Evaluation with visionCATS

visionCATS controls the CAMAG TLC Scanner 3 and the CAMAG TLC Scanner 4 and enables quantitative evaluation of the generated densitometric data. To determine the substance concentration in a sample, five different quantification functions (e.g. linear and polynomial) are available. Several scanning steps (e.g. scanning the plate after development and scanning the same plate after derivatization) and up to five different evaluations can be performed (single wavelength, multiple wavelengths or a combination of measurements in absorption and fluorescence detection mode).

The following packages are available:

  • The Scanner Multi Wavelength Package offers in one analytical file the possibility to evaluate up to five scanning steps. A scanning step may contain a single wavelength, multiple wavelengths with up to 31 selected wavelengths or a combination of measurements in absorption and fluorescence detection mode.
  • The Scanner Quantification Package allows to quantify each individual substance on the plate. Five different quantification functions are available for evaluation to determine the concentration of the substance in a sample. In one analysis file up to five evaluation steps can be performed in multiple plate states (e.g. plate after development and same plate after derivatization).
  • Soon available:The Spectrum Scanning Package will include the measurement of the spectrum of each individual substance on the plate including the evaluation of the substance purity by comparison with reference standard.

Examples with visionCATS

3D view of scanned tracks

Substance assignment: each peak is assigned to its optimum wavelength before evaluation.

Linear regression via peak area


Evaluation with winCATS

The Planar Chromatography Manager winCATS organizes all steps of instrumental thin-layer chromatography from sample application through quantitative evaluation.

The well-structured and easy to use software controls all functions of the TLC Scanner and processes all measuring data up to the final result. The winCATS standard program for TLC Scanner 4 comprises scanning the chromatogram with subsequent integration, computing results, and printout of the analysis protocol with details in the form of colored graphics as required by the user. Also spectra recording is included in the standard program.

A number of winCATS program options allow users to adapt the evaluation system to their needs.

The following options are available:

  • Quantitative evaluation supports: Single level calibration and multi-level calibration with linear or nonlinear regression using internal or external standards. Statistics as relative standard deviation (cv) or confidence interval (ci). Subcomponent evaluation supporting quantitation of unknown peaks by relating them to the main component as is prescribed by European or US pharmacopoeias (“Related Compounds”).
  • Dual-wavelength scan: The chromatogram is scanned at two freely selectable wavelengths. During integration the signal from the second wavelength is subtracted from that of the first wavelength to eliminate matrix effects. Dual-wavelength scanning is also useful for the quantitation of incompletely resolved peaks.
  • Multi-wavelength scan: The chromatogram can be scanned automatically with up to 36 selectable wavelengths between 190 and 900 nm. For quantitation, data from the scan at the optimum wavelength for each compound is used.
  • Track optimization: Each track of the chromatogram is scanned several times with a small lateral offset. From this data the optimum virtual track following the peak maxima is calculated and used for quantitation.
  • Scanner qualification (selftest): This option offers automatic monitoring of the mechanical, optical and electronic functions of the scanner. Results are evaluated, documented and stored. When appropriate, lamp positions and monochromator alignment are automatically adjusted.

The Optical System

Optical System
Optical System
  • Any of the three light sources, high pressure mercury lamp, deuterium lamp, or halogen-tungsten lamp can be positioned in the light path by a motor drive. (1)

  • The signal of the measuring photomultiplier is continuously offset against the signal of the reference photomultiplier. (4 and 5) This compensates for lamp aging and short-time fluctuations. It also reduces the warm-up time required to reach lamp stabilization.

  • All components of the optical system, lamps, monochromator, scanning stage, and photomultiplier are mounted on one sturdy metal support. This ensures high precision of the detector signal.

  • For scanning at wavelengths below 200 nm it is advisable to flush the monochromator with nitrogen. The scanner is equipped to do this.

  • A monochromator bandwidth of 5 nm or 20 nm can be selected. 5 nm bandwidth is used for spectra recording, multi-wavelength scanning, and when spectral selectivity is required. (2) 20 nm bandwidth offers higher light intensity (improves the signal to noise ratio and thus the reproducibility of the measurement) and enables measurement of several fractions with slightly different absorption maxima in one scan.

  • The lens system with 190 – 900 nm transmission range features automatic positioning for micro and macro slit sizes. This ensures that the light energy available with small slits in the micro position is almost the same as that for the corresponding slit in the macro position, which is four times larger. (3)

  • The light beam strikes the object at right angle. The photomultiplier is aligned at an angle of 30°. (5)

Technical specifications

Light sources
Deuterium lamp, usable continuum 190 – 450 nm

• Halogen-tungsten lamp, usable continuum 350 – 900 nm
• High-pressure mercury lamp, line spectrum 254 – 578 nm

The lamp, which is positioned in the light path, is automatically ignited. All lamps are current stabilized.

Pilot lamp and compartment illumination
The slit is automatically illuminated with visible light when the compartment illumination is switched on. The scanning compartment is illuminated with a 4 watt  fluorescent tube UV 254 nm which the user can replace by a UV 366 nm or a white light tube.

Concave holographic grating, 1200 lines/mm, bandwidth selectable 5 or 20 nm, wavelength range 190 – 900 nm; monochromator driven by stepper motor, reproducibility of wavelength setting better than 0.2 nm, accuracy better than 1 nm; connector for flushing with nitrogen.

Maximum speed of spectra recording 100 nm/s, positioning at 200 nm/s.

Secondary filter
Motor-driven filter wheel with three automatically selected filters for the elimination of second order wavelengths; 400 nm cut-off filter for fluorescence measurements; three positions for user selected filters.

Scanning slit
Revolving disk with 20 fi xed apertures; length of slit images selectable between 0.2 and 12 mm, width between 0.1 and 1.2 mm in 42 combinations.

Two matched broad band photo multipliers, multi alkali type, spectral sensitivity 185 – 900 nm.

Stage drive
Independent in both directions by stepper motors, micro step driven for smooth movement; reproducibility of positioning better than 50 μm in Y-direction, better than 100 μm in X-direction; maximum scanning speed 100 mm/s, positioning at 150 mm/s.

Mains voltage
115 V and 230 V selectable; 50/60 Hz; maximum energy use 180 W (tungsten and mercury lamp ignited).

A/D converter
16 bit, 2-channel A/D converter, 100 ms per double conversion.

Serial interface RS232 for communication to the computer, EquiLink for connection to winCATS software.

W x D x H: 590 x 650 x 367 mm

39 kg

Ordering information TLC Scanner 4


CAMAG TLC SCANNER 4 for scanning by absorbance and fluorescence, equipped for objects up to 200 × 200 mm, wavelength range 190 – 900 nm, complete with deuterium lamp, tungstenhalogen lamp, and mercury vapor lamp, including Equilink (027.6312) to winCATS, but without winCATS license.


CAMAG TLC Scanner 4, complete system

CAMAG TLC Scanner 4, for scanning by absorbance and fl uorescence, equipped for objects up to 200 × 200 mm, wavelength range 190 – 900 nm, complete with deuterium lamp, tungsten-halogen lamp, and mercury vapor lamp
Equilink to establish a 2-way communication between the scanner and winCATS
winCATS license including one year of internet update service
winCATS option “Quantitative chromatogram evaluation”
winCATS option “Scanner selftest”


winCATS - Planar Chromatography Manager software licence including one year web update service


winCATS option "Quantitative Chromatogram Evaluation"
Software extension supports single level calibration, multi level calibration with linear or non linear regression using internal or external standards.


winCATS option "Qualification & Self Test"


winCATS option "Spectrum Library"


winCATS option "Track optimization"


winCATS option "Dual wavelength scan"


winCATS option "Multi wavelength scan"


winCATS option "21CFR11 compliant-ready"


CAMAG TLC Software visionCATS: Basic Version
Including access and control of all instruments - 1 server, 1 client
Instrument Diagnostics (xQ)
Analytical reports - Access to method library.
Needs to be bought separately and is not included in any Ultimate Package


CAMAG TLC Software visionCATS: visionCATS Ultimate, incl.
- 028.2100 Visualizer High-Resolution Documentation Package
- 028.2200 Visualizer Comparison Viewer Package
- 028.2300 Visualizer Enhanced Evaluation Package
- 028.3100 Scanner Multi Wavelength Package
- 028.3300 Scanner Quantification Package
Basic Version 028.0000 has to be bought separately.


CAMAG TLC Software visionCATS: Scanner Ultimate Package
incl. all Scanner Packages (028.3100, 028.3200 [available in 2016] & 028.3300)
Basic Version 028.0000 has to be bought separately.


CAMAG TLC Software visionCATS: Scanner Multi Wavelength Package


CAMAG TLC Software visionCATS: Scanner Quantification Package

Inquiry / Request A Quote

Fields marked with an '*' are mandatory fields.

Salutation *
 Mr       Mrs
Given Name *
Last Name *
Company *
Address *
City *
Country *
Phone *
E-Mail *
Topic *
Message *
Code *

image image image image image image image