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2012 UV-Vis Spectrophotometer Survey Results

Find out what our readers had to say about the UV-Vis spectrophotometers in their laboratories.

UV-Vis spectrophotometers are indispensable for measuring analyte concentrations—in scientific research, academic teaching, and QA/QC laboratories. UV-Vis spectrometers come in four basic models: low-cost single- beam, dual-beam, array-based, and handheld. Single-beam techniques must apply a correction for the loss of light intensity as the beam passes through the solvent. Dual-beam spectrometers use a second solvent reference cell and perform the correction automatically. Single- and dual-beam benchtop instruments use a broad spectrum lamp as the light source, and most use a photomultiplier tube as the detector. Future improvements in UV-Vis spectrophotometers will focus on ease of use, portability, and application-specific instruments. UV-Vis analysis of solid samples and materials continues to grow in areas such as solar cell research, semiconductor products, and coating materials. Advances in light sources will provide new developments in conventional spectrophotometers and handheld UV-Vis instruments. Further development in remote sensors will enable more types of samples to be measured outside the laboratory. UV-Vis instruments have become smaller as a result of microelectronics miniaturization, but were always limited by the instrument’s components and pathways used for delivering radiation and measuring absorbance or transmittance.


The types of UV-Vis spectrophotometers our readers are using in their research.  

Single Beam 43%
Dual Beam 43%
Array-based 11%
Handheld 3%


How often our readers use their UV-Vis spectrophotometers in their labs:

Several times daily 32%
Once a day 6%
Several times each week 37%
Once a week 8%
Two to three times a month 8%
Once a month 3%
Less than once a month 5%


We asked our readers how often they use performance verification tests for wavelength accuracy, stray light, resolution and photometric accuracy. Here’s how they responded:

Annually 31%
Every six months 11%
Quarterly 13%
Monthly 12%
After every use 3%
We don't do performance verification tests 24%
Not applicable 2%
Don't know 4%


The top 10 factors/features our readers look for when buying a UV-Vis spectrophotometer:

  Important Not Important Don't Know
Ease of Maintenance/low operating costs 90% 3% 7%
Excellent reproducibility 90% 6% 4%
Ease of use 86% 9% 5%
Wavelength accuracy 84% 12% 4%
Better sensitivity and resolution 85% 12% 4%
Price 85% 12% 4%
Warranties 85% 15% 0%
Faster acquisition and analysis of data 65% 32% 3%
Service/support in general 64% 29% 7%
Safety 60% 32% 8%


For more information on UV-Vis spectrophotometers, visit 


See the most recent survey results here