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The best cuvettes need to be very clear and have no impurities that might affect the spectroscopic reading. Defects on the cuvette such as scratches, can scatter light and hence should be avoided. Some cuvettes are clear only on two sides, and can be used in the UV-Visible spectrophotometer, but cannot be used for fluorescence spectroscopy measurements. For Group 12-16 semiconductor nanoparticles prepared in organic solvents, the quartz cuvette is chosen.

In the sample cell the quantum dots are dispersed in a solvent, whereas in the reference cell the pure solvent is taken. It is important that the sample be very dilute (maximum first exciton absorbance should not exceed 1 au) and the solvent is not UV-visible active. For these measurements, it is required that the solvent does not have characteristic absorption or emission in the region of interest. Solution phase experiments are preferred, though it is possible to measure the spectra in the solid state also using thin films, powders, etc. The instrumentation for solid state UV-visible absorption spectroscopy is slightly different from the solution phase experiments and is beyond the scope of discussion.


Detector converts the light into a current signal that is read by a computer. Higher the current signal, greater is the intensity of the light. The computer then calculates the absorbance using the in [link] , where A denotes absorbance, I is sample cell intensity and I o is the reference cell intensity.

The following cases are possible:

  • Where I<I 0 and A<0. This usually occurs when the solvent absorbs in the wavelength range. Preferably the solvent should be changed, to get an accurate reading for actual reference cell intensity.
  • Where I = I and A= 0. This occurs when pure solvent is put in both reference and sample cells. This test should always be done before testing the sample, to check for the cleanliness of the cuvettes.
  • When A = 1. This occurs when 90% or the light at a particular wavelength has been absorbed, which means that only 10% is seen at the detector. So I 0 /I becomes 100/10 = 10. Log 10 of 10 is 1.
  • When A>1. This occurs in extreme case where more than 90% of the light is absorbed.


The output is the form of a plot of absorbance against wavelength, e.g., [link] .

Representative UV-visble absorption spectrum for CdSe tetrapods.

Beer-lambert law

In order to make comparisons between different samples, it is important that all the factors affecting absorbance should be constant except the sample itself.

Effect of concentration on absorbance

The extent of absorption depends on the number of absorbing nanoparticles or in other words the concentration of the sample. If it is a reasonably concentrated solution, it will have a high absorbance since there are lots of nanoparticles to interact with the light. Similarly in an extremely dilute solution, the absorbance is very low. In order to compare two solutions, it is important that we should make some allowance for the concentration.

Effect of container shape

Even if we had the same concentration of solutions, if we compare two solutions – one in a rectagular shaped container (e.g., [link] ) so that light travelled 1 cm through it and the other in which the light travelled 100 cm through it, the absorbance would be different. This is because if the length the light travelled is greater, it means that the light interacted with more number of nanocrystals, and thus has a higher absorbance. Again, in order to compare two solutions, it is important that we should make some allowance for the concentration.

Questions & Answers

what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.

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Source:  OpenStax, Nanomaterials and nanotechnology. OpenStax CNX. May 07, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10700/1.13
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