The spectrophotometer is one of the most frequently used instruments for the identification of unknown chemical compounds, determination of enzymatic activity, analysis of chromatographic separations, and study of polymerization reactions. The sensitivity and performance of a given instrument depend on the quality and design of both the optical and the electronic components. In addition, today's sophisticated spectrophotometers are computer-controlled and thereby facilitate such studies as enzyme kinetics.

InterCon Inc., based in Urbana, Ill., now markets two high-performance spectrophotometers manufactured by Bruins Instruments in Munich, West Germany. The Omega 10 UV-Vis and UV-Vis-NIR devices feature advances in both optical and electronic design. The illumination system contains double-grating monochromators and a high-speed grating drive, which, coupled to a photomultiplier detection system and proprietary data-acquisition electronics, allow complete wavelength scans to be acquired in milliseconds. Both instruments are double-beam design.

The sample and reference beams are produced by a prism, which alternately directs...

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