While all spectrophotometers incorporate a spectrometer, many other analytical instruments also incorporate spectrometers. Confused? Read on to learn the differences and to better understand the range of applications that can be addressed using analytical solutions that incorporate spectrometers.



What is a Spectrometer?

A spectrometer separates and measures spectral components of a physical phenomenon. They measure a continuous variable of a phenomenon where the spectral components are somehow mixed, such as a beam of white light.

We provide instruments that use spectrometers for two portions of the electromagnetic spectrum: X-ray spectrometers for X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and optical spectrometers for visible and near-infrared analysis.

What is a Spectrophotometer?

A spectrophotometer performs quantitative measurements of reflectance or transmission properties of a material as a function of wavelength.

A UV-Vis spectrophotometer typically makes these measurements over the 350 to 800 nm wavelength range which is a subset of the wavelength range measured by the ASD LabSpec® 4 spectrophotometer.

Spectrometers vs. Spectrophotometers

There is often confusion between a spectrometer and spectrophotometer. A spectrophotometer contains a spectrometer but also incorporates a light source for sample illumination.

The ASD LabSpec 4 spectrometer is a spectrometer and spectrophotometer as it is available with an optional built-in fiber optic light source.

At Malvern Panalytical, we have solutions requiring optical spectrometers, spectrophotometers or X-ray spectrometers. If you’re still not sure which provides the best solution for your application, please get in touch and we will help solve your challenges.

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