The Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta brings you this video tutorial specifically relevant to your student laboratory courses, specifically microbiology. If you're a student at any school of biology, this information will be helpful for learning how to use the Ultrospec UV-visible spectrometer and HP printer in the lab.
Part A: The spectrometer has been turned on and left to warm up. The absorbance has been set to scan from 320 to 230 nm. Water is put into the cuvette for a blank (the liquid used may change depending on the experimental set-up) and the cuvette is put in the cuvette holder inside the spectrometer. Note how the cuvette is washed after the blank has been done.
Part B: The sample (in this experiment it is DNA) is put into the cuvette and placed inside the spectrometer.
Part C: When the run button is pressed, the wavelength scans and the LCD screen shows the recording of the Absorbance change during the wavelength scan. Notice the peaks being traced on the screen. The HP printer attached to the spectrometer prints the results so a permanent record is made.
Important: These special cuvettes are very sensitive to fingerprints. The front and back of the cuvette (through which the beam passes) should never be touched. Two sides are rough and can be touched safely. Thus when holding a cuvette, ONLY the rough sides should be in contact with your fingers. Also the front and back of the cuvettes are wiped with a kimwipe to clean them.