Care of Spectrophotometer Cells
Cells are precision optical equipment and great care goes into their manufacture to ensure uniformity and conformance to exacting tolerances. The polished optical windows undergo dozens of inspection procedures from certification of raw material to matching of the finished cells.
Misuse will gradually degrade the precision surfaces of the windows until significant reductions in transmittance occur due to light scattering. Often times complaints about cell matching have been traced to improper cleaning or handling of cells.
Cell windows must be scrupulously cleaned and free of contaminants that could degrade performance. At Spectrocell, every effort is made to supply cells that are exceptionally clean. In order to keep them that way, the user should take certain precautions. Quartz, in particular, has a chemically active surface and will combine with nitrates, oxides, sulfates, hydroxides, and amines.
The degree of activity varies proportionally with temperature and length of exposure. Never allow cells to stand with solution in them. Clean them immediately after using and store in the boxes provided.
To clean, use a warm water jet first, followed by dilute detergent, and then a warm water jet to rinse. Do not use an ultra-sonic cleaner, even cells which are fully thermally fused are at risk in ultra-sonic cleaners. Do not blow dry cells with compressed air. Never allow cells with tap water on them to air dry. Use a final rinse of deionized water.