Image Credits: Optical Building Block Corporation and Small Parts, Inc.

Cuvettes are small narrow circular, triangular, square, or rectangular sample containers for spectroscopy. They are sometimes called cells.

How Cuvettes Are Used

Cuvettes are filled with samples, usually diluted or suspended in liquid, and placed within a spectroscopy device, such as a colorimeter, electroporator, fluorometer, spectrometers, spectrophotometer, or tintometer. This video discusses a spectrophotometer, including placement of the cuvette.

Video Credit: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Types of Cuvettes

Curvettes vary widely, depending on their use and the measuring instrument. Certain uses require shaped, tinted, self-masking, flow, or water-jacketed cells. Electropolation curvettes are fitted with electrodes. Tandem (divided) curvettes have two chambers. Demountable cells can be taken apart after each use.

Cylindrical

Triangular

Tinted

Self-masking

Flow

Flow-through

Water-jacketed

Electropolation

Tandem

Demountable

Image Credits: BYK Additives and Instruments, ECVV Co., Precision Cells, Thermo Scientific Liquid Handling, Ocean Optics, ALine, Inc., Starna Cells

Cuvette Specifications

Common retangular curvettes have a 10 mm pathlength, but they can range from as little as 1 mm to 100 mm and more.

1 to 100 mm curvettes

Image Credit: Optiglass Ltd.

Volume varies by the curvette's size and the thickness of its walls. Standard, semi-micro, micro, and even smaller reservoir curvettes are available.

Standard, semi-micro, and micro curvettes

Image Credit: MicroscopesBlog.com

Glass, plastic, and quartz are common curvette materials.

Special treatment is necessary for cryogenic uses.

Features

Certain curvettes have roughened walls on opposite sides to improve grip and handling; the perpendicular walls are clear for measuring.

Single- or limited-use applications can benefit from disposable or semi-disposable curvettes.

Stopper, screw, or septum tops may be colored or frosted for identification and labeling.

References

How to Read a Spectrophotometer

Precision Cells Curvettes

Starna Cells Rectangular Spectrophotometer Cells