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Array-Detector Spectrophotometer

Introduction

Array-detector spectrophotometers allow rapid recording of absorption spectra. Dispersing the source light after it passes through a sample allows the use of an array detector to simultaneously record the transmitted light power at multiple wavelengths. There are a large number of applications where absorbance spectra must be recorded very quickly. Some examples include HPLC detection, process monitoring, and measurement of reaction kinetics.


Instrumentation

These spectrometers use photodiode arrays (PDAs) or charge-coupled devices (CCDs) as the detector. The spectral range of these array detectors is typically 200 to 1000 nm. The light source is a continuum source such as a tungsten lamp. All wavelengths pass through the sample. The light is dispersed by a diffraction grating after the sample and the separated wavelengths fall on different pixels of the array detector. The resolution depends on the grating, spectrometer design, and pixel size, and is usually fixed for a given instrument. Besides allowing rapid spectral recording, these instruments are relatively small and robust. Portable spectrometers have been developed that use optical fibers to deliver light to and from a sample.

These instruments use only a single light beam, so a reference spectrum is recorded and stored in memory to produce transmittance or absorbance spectra after recording the sample spectrum.


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