pda detector

Difference between UV and PDA Detector in HPLC

📋 Index of contents
  1. Photodiode array detector
  2. Difference between UV and PDA Detector in HPLC
  3. PDA Detectors:
  4. UV Detectors:
  5. HPLC:
  6. Principles:

Photodiode array detector

The UV, VIS and hplc PDA are classified as absorbance detectors; they have a better sensitivity to the picogram (~ PG) levels and use them to detect compounds that have chromophore (light-absorbing compounds). UV is a widely used detector for ultraviolet spectroscopy as well as high-performance liquid chromatography.

The UV absorbance varies, depending on the mobile phase and the use of the wavelength. It is significant to select a suitable wavelength on the basis of the type of analyte or component. A typical UV detector permits to select the wavelength between 190nm and 400 nm. In contrast to a UV detector, a Visible (VIS) detector employs longer wavelengths, such as 400nm to 800 nm.

The detector that gives a broad wavelength selection, its covering range of UV-VIS (190-800 nm) called a UV/VIS detector.Conversely, the PDA detector passes a wide range of light through the sample and after that, the light is isolated into individual wavelengths subsequent to going through the sample. The spectrum of light is directed to an array of photosensitive diodes. Every diode can quantify a diverse wavelength which considers the monitoring of numerous wavelengths at a time. Generally, just 1-2 wavelengths are used during the chromatographic run.

pda detector


Difference between UV and PDA Detector in HPLC

Aspect UV Detector PDA Detector
Principle Measures absorbance of UV/visible light by sample compounds with chromophores. Utilizes an array of photodiodes to capture UV-visible spectra of compounds.
Information Provides absorbance data at a specific wavelength. Offers full spectral data across a range of wavelengths.
Compound Identification Not well-suited for complex mixture identification. Enables compound identification based on unique spectral patterns.
Quantification Quantifies specific compounds with chromophores. Accurate quantification of multiple compounds in a single run.
Applications Routine analyses, quantification of known compounds. Complex sample analysis, compound identification, purity assessment.
Peak Purity Cannot assess peak purity effectively. Enables peak purity assessment by analyzing spectra within peaks.
Cost Generally more affordable. Often more expensive than UV detectors.
Sensitivity Less sensitive compared to PDA detectors. Offers higher sensitivity, detecting compounds at lower concentrations.

The key difference between the UV and photodiode array detector in HPLC that the Photodiode array detector can measure the peak area and height of the specific peak of the sample or analyte on the different wavelengths in the range of 200 to 800 nm. While a UV detector can determine the peak area and height in just one or two separate wavelengths, but the wavelength must also be selected before injecting the sample solution in the HPLC injector.

PDA Detectors:

Photodiode Array (PDA) detectors revolutionize high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses with their ability to simultaneously capture a spectrum of wavelengths. In HPLC, PDA detectors are employed to unravel the complex composition of samples, offering detailed insights into compound identification and purity assessment. These detectors utilize an array of photodiodes to generate UV-visible absorption spectra, enabling scientists to discern intricate patterns within chromatographic peaks. With PDA detectors, researchers can navigate through the intricate tapestry of chromatograms and confidently differentiate compounds even in mixtures with similar retention times.

UV Detectors:

Within the realm of HPLC, UV detectors stand as stalwart companions in routine analyses, providing a cost-effective and reliable means of quantifying compounds possessing chromophores—those groups that absorb UV or visible light. UV detectors excel in discerning the concentration of specific compounds, making them indispensable in quality control and routine analytical procedures. These detectors come in various forms, each tailored to specific applications, from UV-visible spectroscopy to column chromatography, offering a versatile toolkit for scientists to unravel the interactions between light and matter.


High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) serves as the bedrock for numerous analytical endeavors, and its synergy with various detectors shapes the trajectory of scientific exploration. HPLC, with its ability to separate and quantify compounds in complex mixtures, lays the foundation for accurate and precise analyses. The amalgamation of HPLC with detectors such as PDA and UV detectors creates a dynamic partnership that empowers researchers to delve into the intricacies of samples and glean valuable insights into composition, purity, and interactions.


At the heart of every detector lies a fundamental principle that underpins its operation and analytical prowess. The Photodiode Array (PDA) detector harnesses the power of light absorption, employing an array of photodiodes to capture spectral data across UV-visible wavelengths. In contrast, the diode array detector, another integral component of HPLC, functions on the principle of light absorption and quantification. Both detectors offer rich spectral information that aids in compound identification and quantification, enhancing the depth and accuracy of analytical results.


Beyond the core categories, various elements contribute to the multifaceted landscape of HPLC analysis. From refractive index detectors versus UV detectors to the exploration of chromatography UV sensors and detectors in UV visible spectroscopy, these facets expand the horizons of analytical possibilities. Researchers navigate through differences, advantages, and disadvantages, making informed decisions about the most suitable detector for a particular analytical challenge. As the field continues to evolve, the fusion of principles and applications continues to shape the intricate world of HPLC analysis.

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Jose Hullgren (Laboratory Analist)

Hello to all readers, my name is Jose Hullgren, it is a pleasure to present you this website of my authorship, I am currently working as a laboratory analyst and for the last 10 years I have been working in the pharmaceutical industry. The main idea of this page is to provide relevant information in the field of the pharmaceutical industry above all. We also cover different areas of chemistry and sciences in general that we find interesting. Perfil Linkedin

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