May 01, 2013
Cuvettes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but one of the most important specifications of a cuvette is its Z-dimension. The Z-dimension of an instrument (cuvette holder or spectrometer) is the distance from the bottom of the cuvette chamber floor to the center of its light beam (see image). A cuvette’s Z-dimension must match the Z-dimension of the instrument with which it will be used.
Each manufacturer designs its instruments with a specific Z-dimension. Common Z-dimensions include 8.5 and 15mm, and sometimes 20mm. When purchasing small volume cuvettes, the correct Z-dimension becomes critical. Matching the Z-dimension of the cuvette to the Z-dimension of the instrument ensures that the light beam passes through the center of small samples.The table below shows the standard Z-dimension of the spectrometer sample compartments for many manufacturers.