Useful tips to ensure top performance of your UV – VIS Spectrophotometer

Useful tips to ensure top performance of your UV – VIS Spectrophotometer
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UV Visible Spectrophotometer (Image Courtesy : http://www.oasisscientific.com/)

Your UV-VIS Spectrophotometer is a highly sophisticated optical device designed to give accurate and reproducible data over a long period of time.It is important to validate the instrument for suitability on operational parameters before putting it to use. The article covers some useful tips which will help ensure consistency in performance during usage.

Instrument Care

Due to its high sensitivity and precision optics the instrument needs to be looked after with utmost care.

  • House the instrument in an air-conditioned dust free environment away from direct sunlight and the workbench should be kept clean at all times.
  • When not in use cover with the plastic cover provided by the manufacturer
  • The proximity should be kept free from motors, centrifuges or other equipment capable of producing vibrations
  • Switch off the instrument when not in use to conserve lamp life
  • Do not put off cleaning of spills inside sample compartment. Remove as much liquid as possible with the help of a syringe followed by soft sterilized cotton
  • Replace light sources at prescribed usage intervals or whenever an error message is displayed on the screen
  • Calibrate the instrument performance against reference standards at regular intervals

Quartz cell handling and care

Sample and reference cell holders or cuvettes should be a matched pair. This means that the optical transmission properties of the light transmitting windows of the pair are the same. Proper care and handling of absorption measurement cells are already discussed. Some additional suggestions are offered

Do not use cuvettes that show fine cracks or lines in the transparent windows

Samples should not degas inside cuvettes as bubble formation on inside surfaces can contribute to errors.

Plastic cuvettes should not be used with organic solvents

Disposable cuvettes should not be used as reproducibility of results will be affected grossly due to imperfections

Keep the sample compartment closed during measurements to prevent external light from introducing errors.

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