Encyclopedia of Biophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Gordon Roberts, Anthony Watts, European Biophysical Societies

Absorbance Spectroscopy: Spectral Artifacts and Other Sources of Error

  • Paul WormellEmail author
  • Alison Rodger
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35943-9_776-1



Modern spectrophotometers and data acquisition software are usually reliable and easy to use, but the spectra that they produce must always be regarded critically, as there are many possible sources of error and measurement uncertainty. Some of these relate to sample purity and identity. Others relate to the quality and calibration of the instrument, experimental technique, choice of sample cells and wavelength ranges, correct use of software for data acquisition and analysis, appropriate scan parameters that optimize signal-to-noise ratios yet ensure the fidelity of the recorded spectrum, and uncertainties associated with data analysis (e.g., the use of standard curves). A good understanding of spectroscopic principles, and proper instruction and supervision in the use of spectroscopic instrumentation, is essential for reliable spectroscopic work. Other...

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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association (EBSA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Science and HealthWestern Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Sciences, Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alison Rodger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Sciences, Macquarie UniversityNWSAustralia