(Last Updated On: November 23, 2022)

UV-visible spectroscopy, also known as UV Vis, is one of the lab’s most commonly used analytical techniques today. It can help you answer chemical structure and purity questions, study how your samples interact with different wavelengths of light, and how these interactions change when you add new ingredients or modify your lab conditions. 

Using Agilent UV Vis spectroscopy, you can gain valuable information that helps you reach your research goals faster than ever before. This blog post will tell you how to use this technique in your lab.

What is UV Vis spectroscopy?

UV-Vis is a powerful analytical technique that uses visible light to identify the chemical composition of substances. The method is similar to atomic absorption, but the light source is a laser instead of an atom-generated flame. 

In its simplest form, UV Vis involves shining a light on the sample and measuring how much light passes through it. The intensity of this transmitted light is recorded as a function of wavelength (color) with an instrument called a spectrometer. A computer plots these measurements as peaks on a spectrum graph, which tells us what chemicals are present in the sample.

How does UV Vis spectroscopy work?

UV Vis spectroscopy works by sending a beam of light through the sample and recording how much light passes through. The result is a spectrum, which is a graph that plots the intensity of light against wavelength. 

Many different analyses use UV Vis spectroscopy, including: 

  • Detecting compounds or chemicals;
  • Identifying compounds or chemicals;
  • Quantifying compounds or chemicals;
  • Determining the chemical structure and;
  • Analyzing solids and liquids.

UV Vis Spectroscopy is often used to identify materials such as dyes, pigments, plastics, paints, food coloring agents, etc. It’s also commonly used to analyze organic material samples like wood pulp, leather, textiles, etc.

What are the benefits of using UV Vis spectroscopy?

UV-VIS Spectroscopy is a technique used to measure the light absorbed or reflected by a sample, allowing identification of its chemical composition. This technique is typically used for solids and liquids but not gasses. 

When using this technique, it is essential to remember that it does not identify the type of molecules present or their structure, only the amount. With this limitation, it is necessary to note that there are two types of measurement: transmission and reflection. 

Transmission measurements rely on how much light passes through the sample and into the detector, while reflection measurements rely on how much light bounces off the sample’s surface.

How can I get started with using UV Vis spectroscopy?

UV VIS spectroscopy is a technique for determining the composition of matter. It is often used to identify organic compounds, measure their purity, and select the number of solids in a liquid. The basic process involves shining an ultraviolet light at a sample and then using a prism or grating to break it up into its component wavelengths, which are then recorded by the detector. 

Differences between sample components with different absorption or emission properties produce peaks on the graph called an Absorption Spectrum or Emission Spectrum. Areas of the high intensity on these graphs represent areas where light is being absorbed or emitted.


The chemical information obtained from these machines makes them a valuable resource for all sorts of industries, including pharmaceuticals, plastics, food products, and cosmetics, just to name a few. With the growing number of different types of chemicals being manufactured and used daily, there is no doubt that the need for accurate and efficient chemical detection systems will continue to grow.