FAQ – TrayCell 2.0

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Everything you should know about the TrayCell 2.0

1. Where should I pay special attention when inserting the TrayCell 2.0

As is the case when using cuvettes, you should be careful to ensure that the TrayCell 2.0 stands straight and stable in the light path. To achieve the best possible reproducibility of measurement values, we recommend always inserting the TrayCell 2.0 in the same direction, with the Hellma logo facing the front, and leaving it in the holder between measurements.


2. When do I use which cap?

The smaller the path length, the higher the concentrations of samples that can be measured within the linearity range of the spectrophotometer or sample testing system. In contrast to the customary cuvettes with their 10 mm path length, the 1 mm path length cap offers a ‘dilution factor’ of 10, and the cap with a 0.2 mm path length even provides a ‘dilution factor’ of 50. This factor therefore indicates the extent of dilution that would be necessary in a conventional cuvette (virtual dilution factor).


3. How do I clean the TrayCell 2.0?

The TrayCell 2.0 consists of various components and must therefore be handled with care. While the PTFE-coated metal head and the quartz glass components are highly resistant to laboratory cleaning agents, no caustic or corrosive cleaning agents should be used with the anodized metal components.

Please note the following when cleaning the TrayCell:

  • Always clean the TrayCell with a lint-free cloth or swab.
  • Please observe the following when cleaning the TrayCell
  • Do not immerse the TrayCell in water or cleaning solutions
  • Do not clean the TrayCell in an ultrasonic cleaner
  • Do not use abrasive cleaning agents
  • Depending on the sample, use a 60% isopropanol solution, ethanol or ultrapure water to clean the TrayCell measuring head. If necessary, the TrayCell can be wiped clean with the solvent used to dissolve the sample
4. In which wavelength range can I take measurements?

The TrayCell 2.0 is characterized by its use of low solarization fiber optics. It permits a measuring range of between 210 and 1,100 nm.

5. How do I use the TrayCell in a double beam spectrophotometer?

It is not possible to simply use a second TrayCell and follow the usual procedure for taking reference measurements in a double beam spectrophotometer. The differences in the optical characteristics of the fibers are too great to allow any sensible comparisons to be drawn. Baseline correction is sufficient in the majority of cases, however, making such comparisons unnecessary for standard measurements. If you need to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, we recommend reducing the reference beam to an intensity of around 20%. This can easily be achieved using a simple aperture in the reference beam path.

6. What is the concentration range covered?

Depending on the sample being analyzed (double-stranded or single-stranded DNA or RNA, oligomers, etc.) we see nucleic acid concentration ranges from around 6 to 8,500 ng/μl for an absorbance range of 0.025 – 1.7. In the case of proteins, measurements should only be taken up to a maximum absorbance of 1, since the scattering above this level would no longer ensure linearity as defined by the Beer-Lambert law. For a protein with an absorbance of 1 at a concentration of 1 mg/ml, the concentration range with a TrayCell would be 0.1 – 100 mg/ml. This concentration range varies depending on the specific absorption coefficients of the individual proteins.

For further information see also chapter '6. Measuring range' in the User manual

7. What is the maximum absorbance I can measure?

The maximum absorbance that can be measured is limited by the linearity range of the spectrophotometer used. The highest performance spectrophotometers available on the market permit measurements up to a maximum absorbance of 10. Statements in the literature referring to far greater absorbance ratios should be understood as theoretical values. These ‘theoretical’ absorbance ratios indicate the results that could be expected if we were able to measure undiluted samples in cuvettes with 10 mm path lengths. When using a path length of 0.2 mm (factor 50), the absorbance range of a spectrophotometer with a linear measuring range up to 1.7 would equate to a ‘theoretical’ absorbance of up to 1.7 x 50 (factor) = 85 in a 10 mm cuvette.

8. Can I measure highly-concentrated proteins?

The ability to measure highly-concentrated samples is determined by the linear absorbance range of the spectrophotometer used. The type of sample being measured also plays a role, as proteins, for example, can only be measured correctly up to an absorbance of 1. By using different path lengths with the TrayCell, even highlyconcentrated proteins can be measured. (See also question 6)


9. Can I measure samples with a low surface tension?

Yes. As the window of the new developed TrayCell 2.0 is slightly indented and measurements are performed in the horizontal plane, the liquid is unable to escape. To achieve the best results, we recommend using the cap with the 0.2 mm path length where possible, or the 0.1 mm path length cap that is available as an optional accessory.

10. My measurement values fluctuate, what can I do?

Check that a sufficiently large sample quantity has been pipetted onto the window. The volume should be equivalent to the minimum quantity recommended for a given path length. Some pipettes are not precise enough for transferring small sample volumes. If in doubt, increase the sample volume a little. Check whether the spectrum is showing a high noise level, that could cause the measurement signal to fluctuate. Provided that the concentration and/or absorbance of the sample lies within the measuring range, an extended integration period will improve the measurements.


11. How is the stability of TrayCell 2.0 materials?

At room temperature, the TrayCell 2.0 measuring head, including the cap, is resistant to many organic solvents, acids up to pH ≥ 2 and alkaline solutions up to pH ≤ 10.

Please find in the Download section the TrayCell User manual; you will find in chapter 8 a list of the compounds for which a chemical resistance of the measuring head of the TrayCell 2.0 is given at room temperature.

12. What is the difference between the new TrayCell 2.0 and the "old" TrayCell?

The new TrayCell 2.0 is a consistent further development of the successful ultra-micro measuring cell TrayCell ®.

Technical developments of the TrayCell 2.0 are:

  • Deepening of the measurement window
  • Metal measuring head (PTFE-coated)
  • PTFE-coated surface in the pipetting area
  • Overall height reduced by 7 mm
  • Cap with a higher rim for better handling

these further developments lead to the following improvements:

  • The new, deeper sample window now enables samples with low surface tension to be measured.
  • The new, PTFE-coated metal head makes TrayCell 2.0 much more robust and enables quick and effective cleaning.
  • The new cap enables faster more confident handling.

Remark: With the new TrayCell 2.0, all applications that were previously solved with the "old" TrayCell can also be carried out successfully.

Products of the brand:


TrayCell 2.0 | Innovative Solution for the UV/Vis Based DNA & Protein Analysis

TrayCell 2.0 (User Manual & Broschure EN / DE)


TrayCell 2.0 – Quick start guide (Folder EN)


TrayCell 2.0 – Calculation of concentration (Tool EN)


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