Polarimeter Cell Cleaning Prior to Making a Measurement

Cleaning a Polarimeter Sample Cell – Video Transcript

Video location: Polarimeter Sample Cell Cleaning Procedures

This video gives a brief overview of the proper method of cleaning a Rudolph polarimeter cell. This video is relevant to;

40T Temptrol polarimeter cell supplied with the Autopol IV-T, V, V plus and VI – 40T Polarimeter cell is shown

32 Cell supplied for low volume measurements in a non Temptrol polarimeter like the Autopol III – The 32 Polarimeter cell is shown.

Before starting the process suitable solvents need to be selected. Often two solvents are used, one that will remove the sample and another that will remove the first solvent. Since this cell had sucrose in it I am going to use water and acetone.  – Generally solvent 1 will become the “Blank”

After cleaning the cell will need to be dried, in a laboratory this will often mean using clean compressed or nitrogen but for this video I am going to use canned air. Shown are – Wash bottle labeled water,  Wash bottle labeled acetone, and Canned air

Inject solvent 1 and move back and forth with the syringe

Inject solvent 2 and move back and forth with a syringe

Blow the cell dry with the air

At this point the cell should be clean and dry, ready for the next sample. I am going to look down the end to confirm – Visual – End of the cell clear to end.

Poalrimeter Sample Cells








Of course my description assumes that we are going to clean the cell immediately after measurement however people are people and mistakes happen.  Sometimes samples precipitate in the cell, sometimes people forget to clean the cell and the sample dries on the cell wall. This section shows how to pull the cell apart if simple cleaning does not suffice

Remove the ends of the cell using an allen driver

We now have access to the inside of the cell. Under normal circumstances the fluid will enter from the inlet in the outer ring, come out over the windows and then back through the inner tube

We can pull the glasses from the ends

Now all the wetted materials can be soaked in a solvent even cleaned in an ultrasonic bath

Reassembly is the same process in reverse. Just remember that the washer goes outside the glasses.

The ends only fit one way. Remember that you are sealing a precision glass on glass fitting and finger tightness is all that is needed

The cell is now ready to be used again

Polarimeter Sample Cell









To view the entire line of Rudolph Research Polarimeters please visit Rudolph Research Analytical or view our Autopol line of Automatic Polarimeters



  • Peter Marriott
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  • Peter Marriott has spent over 25 years in the laboratory instrument industry. Educated at Monash University and RMIT in Australia, Peter joined Rudolph Research in 1999. His main focus has been making scientific measurement techniques easy to implement in real, often non-scientific, world.