UV/Vis Detectors for Capillary Electrophoresis

Most of the detectors used in HPLC also find use in capillary electrophoresis. Among the more common detectors are those based on the absorption of UV/Vis radiation, fluorescence, conductivity, amperometry, and mass spectrometry. Whenever possible, detection is done “on-column” before the solutes elute from the capillary tube and additional band broadening occurs.

UV/Vis detectors are among the most popular, two examples of which are shown here. Because absorbance is directly proportional to path length, the capillary tubing’s small diameter leads to signals that are smaller than those obtained in HPLC. The z-shaped system in (a) and the multiple reflections in (b) provide for a longer pathlength.


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