A deuterium lamp is a low-pressure gas-discharge light source used in spectrometry to analyse the ultraviolet (UV) light spectrum.
Deuterium lamps use a tungsten filament and are filled with deuterium gas at low pressure. This gives the lamp a longer lifespan and higher UV intensity than the average halogen lamp, hence why they are a popular choice for shortwave UV analysis.
Deuterium lamps operate at very high temperatures, meaning regular glass cannot be used. Instead, fused quartz, UV glass, or magnesium fluoride is typically used as these materials are much better at high temperatures.
Deuterium lamps are used alongside Tungsten halogen lamps to allow for analysis of the UV and visible light regions of the light spectrum.
This makes a deuterium lamp very useful in chromatography as they’re used in HPLC detectors to help identify the make-up of a compound. They are also used in UV-Vis spectrometry for similar reasons.
As the intensity of the UV light emitted from deuterium lamps is very high, it’s crucial that the necessary safety gear is worn while in use. This includes protective eyewear, gloves and suitable clothing.
It’s also important to note the deuterium lamps operate at high temperatures, so care should be taken when handling the lamp after use.
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