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Super Aquarius Spectrophotometers

Further Information

Double Beam Optical System

The fully symmetrical optical system measures sample and reference simultaneously for ultimate accuracy, precision and baseline flatness. Long term stability is at least ten times better than single beam systems. Coated optics for long life.

Variable Optical Bandwidth

The CE 9500 offers variable optical bandwidth from 0.5mm to 4mm. This range covers all the more exacting applications where either high optical resolution or maximum energy throughput is required.

Method Operation and Storage

Up to 100 sets of instrument parameters, including concentration curves may be stored, security code protected. When recalled, instrument parameters are automatically set, avoiding errors.

Alpha Numeric Entry and Assay Program

A full Alpha Numeric facility is provided for formula entry and documentation for GLP. Assay formula entry with Assay Program is rapid and calculations using many wavelengths may be made at high speed with fully documented results.

Software Enhancement By E-SEF

E-SEF - Encoded Software Enhancement Facility - allows software modules to be enabled using encoded numbers provided by telephone, fax or E-mail. Software requirements may be tailored, at any time, as required.

Data Storage and Protection

Data, including 100 spectra, concentration curves , kinetics and time course plots may be stored in safe memory, security code protected against tamper or deletion using a four digit password.


Scans, time course plots, and reaction curves may all be reprocessed to any required format on the display screen and then plotted on the integral or an external printer.

Photomultiplier Detector

A high performance end window photomultiplier is used in all instruments for best possible accuracy and optimum performance in narrow bandwidth, or energy limited applications, eg turbid sample measurement.

Performance Validation

Software and certified standards enable wavelength accuracy, Absorbance accuracy, bandwidth etc. to be validated. A timed and dated report includes the serial number of the instrument.

Powerful Quantification

Many quantitative methods are available including band area computation with background correction, differencing and stripping of spectra, wine and colour assays, mathematical calculations between several wavelengths, protein and DNA assays.

Assay Program

Assay formulae requiring measurements at up to 10 wavelengths may be entered rapidly. Programming for computation is automatic at entry without user intervention. Automatic sequences may be set for multi-sample assays and may be stored as methods.

Curve and Line Fitting

A straight line, quadratic or cubic concentration curve may be fitted to up to 30 standards, with or without an intercept at the origin. Standards may be deleted and replaced and a new curve fitted.

Reaction Kinetics

Single cell kinetic measurements are possible with plots and data displayed on screen. Data may be reprocessed, regression analysis applied and curves stored, security code protected against tamper or deletion.

Multi-Cell Reaction Kinetics

Up to four or six cells are automatically measured with all reaction curves displayed on screen. Each curve may be selected for processing with the results of regression analysis printed.

Multi Wavelength and Bio Assays

Assays are provided using either two or three wavelengths. A wine colour assay is provided. Assays for Warburg and Christian, Lowry, Bradford, Biuret and BCA methods are also available.

Band Area and Height Computation

Band areas with correction for sloping background absorption are readily quantified, with all details and construction displayed. Band areas may also be computed for derivative spectra to facilitate difficult quantification.

Cell Program

Using the various cell changers, measurements may be made on up to 4, 6 or 8 cells at a single wavelength with cycle time and number of cycles entered by the operator. A cell and wavelength program may be combined.

Wavelength Program

Measurements may be programmed for 10 different operator selected wavelengths with the cycle time and number of cycles selected by the operator. A wavelength and cell program may be combined.


Double Beam Wavelength Scans

Scans at up to 4000nm/min are presented on screen or printed with all peaks annotated with wavelength and Absorbance. Tables are also presented listing all peaks and troughs with values.

Display Scrolling

Use of the display scrolling facility enhances the effective screen size and enables spectra and data up to 550mm wide, 6 screen widths, to be viewed.  The last eight scans are automatically retained for recall by entering their scan sequence number and may be reprocessed, overlayed or transferred to protected memory for future recall.

Overlayed Spectral Scans

Up to six scans, including stored scans, may be overlayed, with or without offsets for convenient comparisons or further manipulation.

Difference Spectra

New wavelength scans or scans from store may be presented on screen and the difference spectra produced. The scans may be normalised enabling spectral stripping to reveal impurities or additives.

Derivative Spectra

Derivative spectra, up to sixth are readily produced, with selectable smoothing, either alone or superimposed on the fundamental, with or without an offset. Scaling is automatic with all peaks and troughs quantified.

Scan Storage

Up to 100 spectra may be stored in 10 safe memory banks for future recall. Each spectrum is automatically allocated a recall number, when stored, and may be security code protected against tamper or deletion.

Programmed Scans

Automatic scans, single or repeat may be made of a cell program of up to 4, 6 or 8 cells. A programmed sequence of scans may also be made of a single sample.

Time Course Plots

Changing samples or flows may be examined and displayed by making a time course plot. Data may be reprocessed and stored, security code protected, with an automatically assigned recall number.


Cells and Flowcells

As well as 10mm cells and flowcells, holders are available for rectangular and cylindrical cells up to 100mm pathlength. A microsampling system measures to 50µl or below.  Third party nano cells may also be used.

Turbid Sample Measurements

A turbid sample optical system enables the measurement of heavily scattering samples, which would otherwise be difficult or impossible to measure. 10mm cells, films or solid samples may be measured.

Automatic Cell Changers

Automatic changers are available for 4, 6 or 8 cells, providing rapid sample changing or the facility for full programming.

Sipette Sampling

Samples down to 300 microlitres may be measured in a 10mm cell. Sampling is under control of the instrument's microprocessor system. Samples may be saved or pumped to waste.

Sample Temperature Control

Water and thermoelectric temperature control are available for single cells and automatic cell changers. Temperature is set from the control panel and displayed on the screen.

Batch Sampling

Automatic batch sampling for up to 100 samples is available. The pump fits within the sample compartment and volume etc is set from the control panel and displayed on screen. Batch number entry is provided.

Dissolution Testing

Versions of the instruments fitted with a special cell compartment with piping port, are available for dissolution testing using Cecil TD software and a PC. Six and eight cell changers are available.

Specular Reflectance

Special accessories enable specular reflectance measurements to be made. Both fixed angle and variable angle reflectance accessories are available. The latter is particularly useful for film thickness measurements.

Fluorescence and Gel Scanning

Using the fluorescence accessory quantitative assays are possible. When required the excitation wavelength may be scanned. A gel scanner enables 100mm gels and films to be measured.

Fast Assay Programs

Derivative Spectra

Assays may be quantified by simple operator text entry of any formula with up to 76 characters. For more complex calculations up to 20 formulae each of 76 characters may be linked for formidable computing power without a PC.

Assays may use up to 10 different wavelengths and 8 different cells in any automatic programmed method. Formulae may be stored, alpha numerically identified and security code protected.

The ease of entry and extraordinary speed of computation and tabulation of results and the absence of any operator programming, makes Assay Program a truly powerful tool, avoiding transcription and calculation errors. Validation is simple as no PC is used.

Typical Assay

The assay of a mixture of two antibiotics, tetra cycline (TC) and chloro tetra cycline (CTC), is shown here. The formula was entered from the published literature, the cell and wavelength program set and 5 sets of results measured and tabulated. The total time for the complete procedure was incredibly short - less than 10 minutes.

Concentration Curve Fitting

Linear, quadratic and cubic curves may be automatically fitted to up to 30 standards and replicate standards. Fits may be with an intercept or forced through zero.

Reaction Kinetics

Single and multi-cell Kinetics are both available with reaction plots displayed on screen and printed. Regression analysis is applied to the user selected portion of the reaction curves (t1 - t2) and results are reported in Units/Litre.

Data may be reprocessed as required and curves may be stored security code protected. Sample temperature control is available for single cells and four and six cell changers, using either water circulation or thermoelectric temperature control.

Advanced Kinetics

An example of advanced Kinetics is shown. Raw Kinetics data generated by the Super Aquarius with known substrate concentration was captured by DataStream and transferred into Grafit (version 4).

Using a suitable graphical template the Michaelis-Menton curve was automatically plotted together with the chosen transformation, Lineweaver Berk, from which the values of Km and Vmax were automatically extracted.

Ultra Performance

Optical Excellence

Symmetrical Double Beam
Czerny-Turner Monochromator
Turbid Sampling Optics
Variable Optical Resolution
Photomultiplier Detector
Long Life Coated Optics
Full Reference Sample Space

Straylight 0.01%
Measurement to 0.1mA
Noise <0.00003A
Photometric Reproducibility ±0.0001A
Gel and Film Scanning
Deuterium Lamp 1500 one year warranty

Variable Resolution

Designed for the most demanding applications the CE 9500 with selectable optical resolution of 0.5, 1, 2 and 4nm and high performance photomultiplier ensures that all experimental requirements can be met.  The spectrum of Benzene vapour shows important spectral detail developed as resolution is increased.

Scattering Samples

Strongly scattering or turbid samples may be difficult to measure normally. With the special optical system of the Super Aquarius such samples may be measured successfully.

A willow leaf gives a noisy off scale trace of chlorophyll with peak Absorbance of 3.7A. At the turbid sample position a low noise perfect on scale trace is produced.

PC usage with DataStream software

DataStream is a very fast, easy to load onto a suitable PC, and  very easy to use software.  All of the functions which the Cecil Super Aquarius spectrophotometers performs on a stand-alone basis, may be performed using the equivalent PC keys.

Data transferred from the spectrophotometer to the PC, is viewed on the PC screen in a large DataStream display.  This data may be saved onto the PC, copied and pasted into other software packages, such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Grafit etc. or transferred to other locations.

In addition, DataStream contains an empty library.  Once a time plot and/or a spectrum is created, it may be saved in the library.  In two clicks of the mouse, subsequent kinetics time plots and/or spectra, may then be compared with the saved spectrum/kinetics time plots.  The data from all spectra and/or kinetics time plots may be saved in the library, or may be saved elsewhere, such as on PC, network or portable drive etc.

When any two spectra are automatically compared with each other, a numerical 'goodness of similarity' is automatically created.  Within a few seconds, a league table of comparable spectra is created.

DataStream may also be used to provide PC control to the Cecil Super Aquarius spectrophotometers.


Assessment of instrument performance is readily carried out using the validation software module built into all Super Aquarius spectrophotometers and released by E-SEF, 'encoded software enhancement facility'. Laboratories subject to regulatory control, or following G.L.P. are provided with a range of Pharmacopoeia (EP) tests as well as tests using filters traceable to national standards with certificates of calibration issued by Cecil Instruments. A selection of the tests are shown here.

Absorbance Accuracy

The Pharmacopoeia (EP) test for Absorbance accuracy, using a 60mg/L solution of Potassium Dichromate in a 10mm pathlength cuvette, is shown here.

Optical Bandwidth

The optical bandwidth of the instrument may be validated by measuring the half height width of the narrow deuterium emission line at 656.1nm. The measurement is carried out automatically.

Validation Using Filters

Absorbance accuracy is most conveniently measured using certified filter sets calibrated by Cecil Instruments against NPL certified standards. A validation printout for the procedure is shown here. Wavelength calibration is also carried out using certified filters.