HPLC UV Detector

The Ultraviolet (UV) detector is a commonly utilized component in chromatography, particularly in high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). It functions on the principle of gauging the absorption of ultraviolet light by analytes in a sample. The detailed operational explanation of the UV detector is presented below, accompanied by an illustrative scheme of the detector’s interior for enhanced comprehension (see Figure 1).

HPLC UV Detector

Figure 1. Scheme of the UV detector 

To commence, the UV detector employs a UV light source, typically a deuterium lamp (D2), emitting light in the ultraviolet range, typically at wavelengths ranging from 190 to 400nm. The SCION 6410 UV Detector can detect absorption up to 600 nm. This UV light serves as the probing signal. The sample, often a liquid containing separated analytes, traverses a flow cell in the detector’s optical path—a transparent container enabling the interaction of incident UV light with the sample.

Analytes within the sample absorb UV light at specific wavelengths, and the degree of absorption is directly proportional to the concentration of the analyte at that wavelength. Different compounds exhibit varying degrees of UV light absorption, allowing for selective detection and quantification.

Using diffraction grating, only light at the specific wavelength will pass through the optical path where the UV light intensity will be turned into an electrical signal. This electrical signal is subsequently analyzed to produce a chromatogram, depicting the intensity of UV light at a single wavelength as the sample elutes from the chromatographic column.

In summary, the operation of a UV detector involves the passage of UV light through a sample, measurement of analyte absorption at specific wavelengths, and conversion of this information into a chromatogram. The detector’s sensitivity to compounds absorbing UV light makes it valuable for detecting and quantifying substances with this characteristic. It’s important to note that while a UV detector offers valuable information, it may not match the comprehensive data provided by a Diode Array Detector (DAD), which can measure absorbance at multiple wavelengths.

Consumables and spares:

  • SCION 6410 UV Detector (LC20200009)
  • D2 Lamp (LC20210166)
  • Flow cell (LC20210187)
  • PEEK tubing (LC21000001)

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