HPLC detectors

The task of an HPLC detector is to convert all reactions of the chromatographic separation, i.e. physical information, into measurable information. The components of an HPLC process are two phases: a stationary phase (granular material with very small particles in a column) and a mobile phase (solvent). The substance sample is injected through a valve with tubing so that its individual components can pass through the column. The detector recognizes the individual substances as they emerge from the HPLC column and transfers them.
Especially in the field of HPLC the UV detector is one of the most used models. It is so popular for the reason that it covers many industries due to its multiple use. At WICOM you will not only find UV detectors, but also other models that are suitable for various applications. In addition, we also carry other equipment components that you need to perform HPLC methodology.

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Finding the right HPLC detector


Depending on what you want to analyze, different types of HPLC detectors are suitable for this purpose. However, one thing is clear - UV / Vis detectors are most commonly used in the field of HPLC analysis. However, for special applications, fluorescence detectors, RI detectors, MS detectors or another subtype may also be considered. You should be aware in advance which detector is the right one for your problem.

UV detector for HPLC applications

The UV detector, also often called UV/ VIS detector, is one of the most used detectors in the field of high performance liquid chromatography. Due to its high sensitivity and its broad detection spectrum (light absorption in the UV to the VIS range), this detector leaves hardly anything to be desired. With the light wavelength range of a UV/VIS detector, a wide range of compounds can be detected. In addition, the wavelength can be defined for this type of HPLC detector. Basically, the shorter the detection wavelength, the more compounds can be detected with the UV/VIS detector.

Fluorescence detector

This HPLC detector belongs to the models based on spectroscopy. Compared to the UV/VIS detector, light with a specific wavelength is added in a flow cell during the mobile phase. When the rays hit the analytes (substances), this is absorbed and re-emitted in the form of light at a different wavelength. While UV/VIS HPLC detectors operate with a straight beam, fluorescence detectors redirect the emitted light at a 90-degree angle (perpendicular redirection).

RI detector

Refractive index detectors, also referred to as RI detectors, are measurement devices used to analyze the variable concentration of solutes in a solvent. Refractive index detectors are among the universal models that sense any changes between the refractive index of the solution and the pure solvent. The detector sensitivity depends on the degree of the differences - since this is usually small, the sensitivity is rather low compared to, for example, UV detectors.
RI detectors are used, for example, in the analysis of sugars; generally in all areas where substances in a liquid need to be analyzed that would not be detectable by other detectors. For example, sugar species are not UV-active and therefore could not be detected by a UV detector.

MS detector (mass spectrometry)

The technique of mass spectrography (MS) consists of transferring the substance to be analyzed into the gas phase and then ionizing it. The ions are now separated by the analyzer according to their charge ratio. At this point, the detector can register them and determine their intensity. It produces an electrical signal that is passed in digitized form to the data system.
The MS detector can either search for individual substances or analyze a mass spectrum. In this case, only salts and volatile solvents can be used as the mobile phase, as otherwise no evaporation is possible.
The MS method makes it possible to detect very small amounts of a substance - this method is one of the important ones in chromatography. The choice of detector should always depend on the exact requirements of the measurement problem.

More models

The following is a rough list of HPLC detectors that are also used in laboratory analysis:

  • Electroanalytical detector
  • Polarimeter detector
  • IR detector (infrared)

HPLC detectors and much more

We are your specialists in the field of high performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography - with us you will not only find a wide range of HPLC detectors. For 36 years we have also been supplying numerous laboratories with high-quality HPLC accessories such as HPLC columns, lamps(deuterium lamps, hollow cathode lamps, etc.) and much more. We carry many well-known brands like Hamilton, Agilent, Gerstel, Dionex, Knauer, Shodex or YMC. Are you looking for a specific spare part for your HPLC system? No problem, at WICOM you will find it!
If you have any questions before your purchase or if you would like to have more information about a product or the delivery, please feel free to contact us anytime by e-mail or phone. We want to make your order as easy as possible. To see the price for an item, you should please log in to our store.

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