Home » Technology » How to Use a Spectrophotometer: Appropriate Use of the Device


Spectrophotometer is a one of the digital version of photometer. It is used to measure not only light with primary colors but lights in all hues. Aside from that, it is also used to determine light wavelength. Spectrophotometer as the name suggests is a combination of two devices: spectrometer and photometer.

The spectrometer analyzes light absorption in a particular wavelength. On the other hand, the photometer measures the intensity of light present in a particular object and also act as color analyzer. The Beer’s Law is the main concept applied on this experiment. The amount of light reflected in a particular object will be calculated in order to find the total light concentration.

How to use the spectrophotometer (Spec 20/20D)

Proper handling of spectrophotometer (Spec 20/20D) is very essential. Since this device is quite expensive, then it would prudent to handle it with care. Aside from that, we should also know how to read the result of the spectrophotometer so that proper light concentration will be determined.

Here are the steps that should be closely followed in operating the spectrophotometer (Spec 20/20D):

  • You need to connect the device in an electrical source and turn it on. As much as possible wait for a few minutes before you start operating the spectrophotometer. Warming up of the device is very essential in order to give time for the machine to execute appropriately.
  • Modify the wavelength pointer located adjacent to the chamber. You need to set in to your preferred wavelength.
  • Check the chamber in such a way that it is free from dust and other particles that may alter the result of the spectrophotometer.
  • Next, regulates the zero controller buttons that can be found in the left front of the device. Rotate the button until it reaches the zero (0) level.
  • Prepare your gloves and wear it. This is the best way to control unwanted particles to have contact with the container of the spectrophotometer.
  • Enclose the container in the chamber and close it properly.
  • Finally, tune the light controller button at right front of the device. Rotate it carefully so that it reads the level of 100. Take out the container and put the solution. Check the result and in the spectrophotometer and record it.
  • Special Note: Whenever the wavelength of light changes, you also need to recalibrate the device again to zero (0) level. You also need to perform the whole set up again.


We need to keep in mind that there are several types of Spectrophotometer. The spectrophotometer 20/20D), Spectronic Educator, portable spectrophotometer and the others types may vary in use. As a result, we should read the manufactures proper usage instruction. There are some instances when specific filters will be required for a particular type of spectrophotometer. Failure to follow the warm up minutes may lead to inaccurate reading.

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