A method of optimizing the scan time of a spectrometer based on the signal level is discussed and its implementation in a computer-controlled photon counting spectrometer is presented. Previous implementations of signal-dependent methods have been useful when the spectra being measured contain only regions where a measurable signal exists. This problem has been eliminated by taking advantage of the ability of the computer to make a decision. Data are presented showing how the use of an "intelligent" instrument, such as that described here, can increase the efficiency of any experiment.

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