# Ultraviolet acid base indicator

Is there a chemical(s) that provides good discrimination between absorbance curves for different pHs in the UV light spectrum (100-400nm?)

• Why this unusual wavelength range? Oxygen absorption cuts in at ~ 200 nm, water stops being UV-transparent at ~ 175 nm. Oct 20 '14 at 16:06
• 100 nm is tough! In terms of emission wavelength, the closest light source that comes to my mind is an argon excimer lamp (or laser) with $\lambda_{em}$ = 126 nm. Oct 20 '14 at 20:01
• Let's ask the other way around: Which pH range do you have to cover, which other compounds (with relevant absorption in the UV/VIS) are present in your solutions? You might want to chose your indicator accordingly and perform UV absorption measurements at two different wavelength, i.e. at the absorption maxima of the protonated and unprotonated form of your indicator. Oct 20 '14 at 20:07
• My motivation is curiosity. Universal indicator is a good broad range indicator in visible light but the discrimination between colours at pH 7 is quite poor. The light range doesn't have to be 100-400nm, it could be 200-400 or 700nm+ (infrared) it just needs to be good at highlighting differences in pH. Typically we use visible light indicators because we can see them but if you have a spectrophotometer that does UV, why not use it? Oct 21 '14 at 10:27