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Introduction to UV-Vis Spectroscopy

Introduction to UV-Vis Spectroscopy


There are many different types of spectroscopy. Chemists typically use ultra-violet/visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis) to identify compounds and measure their purity. Pharmaceutical scientists use ultra-violet/visible spectroscopy for drug tests and purity assays while environmental chemists use ultra-violet/visible spectroscopy for environmental testing of water and soil.

In this laboratory experiment, your students will analyze a series of compounds on the UV-Vis and identify the maximum wavelength for each compound.  They will calculate the molar absorptivity using Beer's Law and compare it to the reference book value.  


    This U-PIK will include enough materials for four student groups.  Suggested group size is 4-5 students.  The U-PIK will include the following:


    • 4 UV-Vis units
    • 4 LabQuest 2 interfaces
    • 5 sets of quartz cuvettes
    • 4 boxes of Kimwipes
    • 5 sets of known standards (benzene, and acetone)  
    • 5 sets of solvents (methanol and cyclohexane)
    • 4 Ziploc Bags of Transfer pipets (10 per bag)

    The ultra-violet/visible spectrometer can be easily used to support the concept wavelength and the electromagnetic spectrum.  The known samples will have maximum wavelengths between the ranges of 200-400 nm.  This allows this procedure to serve as a quick introduction to UV/Vis theory, especially within the UV range.  Due to the calculations required, the laboratpry experiment should be implemented in a high school chemistry course.   


    Time:  One laboratory session.  


    Student Level:

    INTERMEDIATE (Grades 9 - 12)

  • UV Vis Manual

  • Laboratory Experiment: Preview Document

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