How to maintain your spectrophotometer?

The spectrophotometer, built by advanced manufacturing processes, is one of the main diagnostic and research instruments developed by mankind. It is used in the laboratory to determine the concentration of a substance in a solution, thus enabling quantitative analyses to be performed.

How does this equipment work?

As we know, it uses the properties of light and its interaction with other substances to determine the nature of the substances. In general, light from a lamp with special characteristics is guided through a device that selects and separates light of a certain wavelength and passes it through a sample. The intensity of the light leaving the sample is captured and compared with the intensity of the light that hit the sample and from this the transmittance of the sample is calculated, which depends on factors such as the concentration of the substance.

As a basic principle, light is considered to be a form of electromagnetic energy, which in a vacuum has a constant [C] and universal velocity of approximately 3 x 108 m.s-1. In any other (transparent) medium through which light passes, its velocity will be slightly lower and can be calculated by the equation v0 = C.n-1. Electromagnetic energy has a very wide range of wavelengths. And when passing through or interacting with various media, it presents a series of phenomena, among which are reflection, refraction, diffraction, absorption, diffusion, polarization and others that are used in various instruments and devices.

What do you need to take into account for its proper functioning?

In general, for a spectrophotometer to work properly, it always requires a power supply according to 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 shakers. But their conservation depends to a great extent on the way they are installed and used. The surrounding environment and the quality of the electrical services are factors of primary importance, so that the equipment can provide the services according to the specifications for which it was manufactured. The maintenance routines they may require vary in complexity, ranging from the careful cleaning of their components to specialized procedures, which should only be carried out by technicians or engineers who have received the corresponding training and have the technical information developed by the manufacturers and which are adjusted to the different models and designs available.

How to install your electrical system?

It should be reviewed and tested to ensure the following:

– There is a grounded electrical outlet or receptacle.

– The receptacle is in good condition and is not more than 5 m away from the spectrophotometer.

– The voltage is of adequate level and should not vary more than 5% from the voltage specified on the nameplate of the equipment.

– The polarity of the receptacle is correct.

– These tests should be performed by an electrical technician or engineer and the results recorded on formats that allow tracking of their status over time.

What to do when a spill occurs?

In the event of a spill in the sample holder system, the spill should be cleaned up using the following procedure:

– Switch off the spectrophotometer and disconnect the power cord.

– Use a syringe to clean the sample holder.

– Absorb as much liquid as can be removed.

– Dry the sample holder with a medical-type cotton swab.

– Use special lens-cleaning paper or a piece of clean, soft-textured, lint-free cloth to clean the photocell window.

– Wipe the outside of the instrument with a piece of cloth moistened with distilled water. Include the display, controls and keypad.

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