Ah great! Another long day in the lab running a bunch of samples. And it’s getting to be summer and soon it’s going to be… another long, HOT day in the lab! Well I just wanted to write some quick ideas to help improve your workflow when using cuvettes.
Cuvettes for Spectrophotometer Suggestion #1: Cuvette Size and Sample Size
Our first suggestion is to make sure you have the right cuvettes for the spectrophotometer. Confirm the size of the sample you will be testing. Does it require a large macro cuvette or a smaller micro size? Wasting samples can be costly and sometimes it is hard to find the material you need when you need it. This can cause unnecessary delays in testing. Don’t let it happen to you.
Cuvettes for Spectrophotometer Suggestion #2: Visual Inspection
This is not so cutting edge, but it is very important. Just pick that cuvette up and give it a good look over. Be sure to wear gloves when you do this so you do not put fingerprints on the cuvette. Check for any kind of dirt, smudges, scratches, dust, stains etc. The smallest imperfections in the windows can cause brutally inaccurate results.
Cuvettes for Spectrophotometer Suggestion #3: Clean the Cuvette
If you did find anything in the inspection of the cuvette, clean it! This is so simple to do and it will give you the best results for every test. To clean the outside of a cuvette you gently rub the windows with a soft lens cloth. If there is a tough stain on the outside, try removing it with some rubbing alcohol. If there are scratches in the critical area of the cell (0-25 mm from the bottom of the cuvette) then you might have to throw that cuvette in the garbage.
If your colleague didn’t clean the cuvette after he/she finished using it the day before, you may have to clean the inside as well. For this, we recommend you use one of our Cuvette Washers. They are a fast, easy way to clean your cuvettes.
Cuvettes for Spectrophotometer Suggestion #4: Warm Up the Spectrophotometer
Warming up the spectrophotometer for at least 45 minutes will give you the best results. Machines that do not have a chance to be warmed up, tend to give inaccurate readings. It takes only a few seconds to flip the power switch to the on position, so make sure to do this.
Cuvettes for Spectrophotometer Suggestion #5: Get a Cuvette Rack
A lot of people come to us looking for replacement cuvettes because someone broke one. The most common type of break is someone knocking the cell over and kaboom it’s all over for the cell. Having a cuvette rack is a great way to keep your cuvettes safe. Even when they are bumped, only the cuvette rack moves keeping the cuvettes inside safe. Also it’s great to have something to hold the cuvette still when you are filling it with a sample. At a mere $26, this is something that you, for sure, want to have.
I know these tips seems so obvious to everyone, but I guarantee you we hear about these problems on a daily basis. When an experiment goes wrong for some reason it is always the cuvette that was the problem. In some cases this is true, we are not perfect and our cuvettes are not perfect either. But in all honesty most of the issues that come up are not cuvette related.
Here’s to Your Success!
The FireflySci Team