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2014 UV-Vis Spectrophotometer Survey Results

Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometry is arguably the most common as well as one of the oldest forms of absorption-based analysis. UV and visible regions of the electromagnetic spectrum are contiguous: UV wavelengths range from 10 to 4000 angstroms; they are visible from 4000 to 7000 angstroms.

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Trevor Henderson BSc (HK), MSc, PhD (c), is the creative services director at Lab Manager.  He has more than two decades of experience in the fields of scientific...

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Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a UV-VIS Spectrophotometer

  1. For what applications will you be using the instrument for? This will help you determine the detection range you require. Don’t forget to consider future applications that may require a broader range.
  2. What range of stray light performance are you comfortable with for your application and budget?
  3. Consider what sort of samples you’ll be working with in order to determine what absorbance range you will need in your UV-Vis spectrophotometer. For example, if it is a turbid or concentrated liquid or a solid sample that is optically thick, you may require a working absorbance range between 5 Å and 8 Å or higher.
  4. What level of throughput and reliability do you need?
  5. How much will the instrument cost? Don’t forget to factor in the cost of maintenance, etc. along with the cost of acquisition.

Types of UV-Vis spectrophotometers used by survey respondents:

Single beam 41%
Dual beam 45%
Array based 11%
Handheld 3%

According to survey respondents, performance verification tests wavelength accuracy, stray light, resolution etc. are performed…

Annually 36%
Every six months 16%
Quarterly 12%
Monthly 10%
After every use 3%
Never 13%
Don't know 11%

Nearly 33% of respondents plan on purchasing a new UV-Vis spectrophotometer in the next year. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacing an older spectrophotometer
Addition to existing systems
Need an instrument that provides faster acquisition and analysis of data
Need an instrument that provides excellent reproducibility
Need an instrument that is simple to operate and maintain
Need an instrument that has a broad range of accessories

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a UV-VIS spectrophotometer:

Excellent reproducibility 82%
Wavelength accuracy 75%
Ease of use 74%
Better sensitivity and resolution 72%
Ease of maintenance/low operating costs 68%
Price 54%
Warranties 45%
Safety 44%
Faster acquisition and analysis of data 42%
Sample volume 39%

Completed Surveys: 285

For more information on UV-VIS spectrophotometers, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit 

See the most recent survey results here