A spectrophotometer is an instrument that measures how much light a substance absorbs. Measures the amount of photon absorbance after passing through a solution. Each substance transmits, reflects, and absorbs light slightly differently. In chemistry, spectrophotometry is the quantitative measurement of the transmission properties of a material based on the light wave.
What is a spectrophotometer used for?
A spectrophotometer is used in many areas of science, including microbiology, biochemistry, forensic medicine, physics, and medical health. It is used to measure certain ingredients in a drug to make sure it is effective and safe for consumers. You can measure bacterial growth or diagnose a patient based on her urine. It is also used in DNA, RNA, and protein analysis.
How does a spectrophotometer work?
The operation of this equipment is based on the light of the special lamp that it has that is guided by means of a connector that selects and separates the light from the wavelength, and then passes through a sample. of that sample is captured and compared with the intensity of the light that fell on that sample. With this information, the transmittance can be calculated, which will depend on the concentration of the substance.
Basically its operation is to illuminate a sample with white light, and then calculate how much is the amount of light that is reflected through a series of wavelength intervals.
What are the types of spectrophotometers?
There are different types of spectrophotometers, so that you can make good use of this instrument, I show you below, what are their types:
- Single beam spectrophotometer: Light is transported from the sample to the detector, so a reference is needed to perform the analysis.
- The split beam spectrophotometer: The light is divided into two paths, the one that passes through the monochromator towards the sample and then to the detector, and the one that passes towards the detector that is used to correct for variations in the light emitted by the lamp.
- Double beam spectrophotometer: Light through two paths into the compartments, each having its own detector. One goes to the sample and the other to the reference.
- Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer: This type of spectrophotometer works by taking into account the wavelengths of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum. These are based on the fact that the molecules that absorb the frequencies are part of the characteristics of its structure.
- Visible UV Spectrophotometer: The objective is to measure the light that passes through the sample, to then compare it with its intensity before it passes through any solution or sample.
What must you take into account for the proper functioning of your spectrophotometer?
In general, for a spectrophotometer to function properly, it always requires an electrical supply source in accordance with the norms and standards implemented in the country, a dust-free environment and a stable work table away from equipment that generates vibrations such as centrifuges. or stirrers. But its conservation largely depends on the way of installation and use.
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