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5 cm (left), 2 cm (center), 1 cm (right) quartz cuvettes.

A cuvette is a small container with transparent straight sides and a circular or square cross section. It is sealed at one end, and made of a clear material such as plastic, crown glass or fused quartz. Cuvettes are designed to hold samples for spectroscopic measurement, where a beam of light is passed through the sample within the cuvette to measure the absorbance, transmittance, fluorescence intensity, fluorescence polarization, or fluorescence lifetime of the sample. This measurement is done with a spectrophotometer.


Cuvettes have the appearance of a tub or tray-like item, with two transparent sides, which are glued to the main U-shaped frame, which, unlike the transparent sides, it is opaque. Cuvettes are most often made of fused quartz, though plastic versions do exist. Other materials used are crown glass, sapphire, etc.

Cuvettes come in various sizes, the most common being 1 cm (10 mm), 2 cm (20 mm), 5 cm (50 mm).


Cuvettes can be bought from lab suppliers. Good quality cuvettes aren't cheap.


  • Spectroscopic determination of chemical species in a sample


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