Spectrophotometer Selection Guide

A guide for product comparison by type and application

Spectrophotometer Types

Colorimeters: Standard and microprocessor-controlled units with built-in wavelength filters display concentration directly.

Visible Light Spectrophotometers: Simple spectrophotometers use only visible light (380 to 750 nm) produced by a tungsten lamp. Portable and benchtop models with a continuous wavelength range are most commonly used for routine laboratory work. Choose from analog and digital models that feature optional data acquisition software for your PC.

UV-Visible Spectrophotometers: A second lamp—usually deuterium—turns a visible light spectrophotometer into a UV-visible unit that can measure from 190 nm to 750 nm. UV-visible models are available with a variety of features, including scanning, multiple cells, integral printers, and user interfaces.

Fluorometers: Fluorometers measure the fluorescence released when a sample is exposed to a single wavelength of light. Select one of our compact and efficient fluorometers for unlimited analysis testing in biotechnical, pharmaceutical, and environmental applications.

Infrared Spectrophotometer: Some applications in teaching and research environments require the measurement of solid, liquid, and gas samples. Our scanning infrared spectrophotometer provides data over a full range of wavelengths from 4000 to 600 cm-1 in seconds.

Mercury Analyzing Spectrophotometer: An economical alternative to atomic absorption systems, our mercury analyzing spectrophotometer quickly measures trace amounts (0 to 9 µg) of mercury in potable, surface, saline, or waste water.

Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer: A high-temperature flame evaporates water and dissociates the sample into ions. These features allow for high-precision analysis in environmental testing, toxicology, and Q.C. laboratories. An optional continuous-flow hydride/cold vapor system lets you test for arsenic, selenium, or mercury.

Comparison Table

Industry Surface Color meter and
spectrophotometer models
Painted surfaces Flat panels 12-mm 45/0 cone, 12-mm hemisphere,
26-mm, 11-mm benchtop
Curved surfaces 3-mm, use foam baffle
Masonry, stucco, cement 20-mm D with window and baffle
Plastics Flat areas 12-mm cone
Small parts 3 mm
Curved surfaces 3-mm, use foam baffle
Wire and cable Small wire and fiber special, 3-mm and fixture
Fibers and small tubes up to 5-mm D, wire and fiber special
Textured surfaces 20-mm D with window, 12-mm hemisphere
Powders 12-mm or 20-mm with window, 30-mm bench top
Transparent 12-mm with white background
Foods and
Cheese, meats 12-mm w/window, 20-mm D w/window
Powders, flour, sugar 20-mm D w/window, 30-mm bench top
Fruits, outside 12-mm cone
Fruits, inside and fish 12-mm with window
Leaves, small areas 3 mm
Soil and grass clippings 20-mm D w/ window, 30-mm bench top
Coffee, grains, snack foods 30-mm bench top
Opaque liquids, sauces, dips 30-mm bench top
Graphic arts Litho printing 3 mm
Other printing small 3 mm
Ink proofs, larger print targets 12-mm cone
Paper Finished paper 12-mm, 11-mm bench top
Paper pulp and paper board 20-mm D w/ window
Textile Textile printing 3 mm
Hard weave 12-mm cone
Solid colors soft weave 20-mm D w/window, 30-mm bench top
Packages 12-mm cone
Cosmetics Foundation drawdowns 12-mm cone, 11-mm bench top
Skin, cosmetics on skin 12-mm flat head
Powders and creams 12-mm or 20-mm with window, 30-mm bench top
Lipstick 12-mm with thin film press
Packaging 3 mm