Photochemical reactor UV-150 – features

Photochemical reactor

A photochemical reactor is a device used in chemical reactions where light initiates or facilitates the reaction process. It typically consists of a chamber or vessel where chemical reactions occur under controlled light exposure, often used in research, industrial processes, or environmental applications.

Light sources used in photochemical reactors can vary depending on the specific requirements of the reaction. Common light sources include:

  1. Mercury vapor lamps: These lamps emit UV light, which is often used for initiating photochemical reactions due to its high energy.
  2. Xenon lamps: Xenon lamps provide a broad spectrum of light, including UV, visible, and sometimes near-infrared wavelengths, making them suitable for a wide range of photochemical reactions.
  3. LED (Light Emitting Diode) arrays: LEDs offer precise control over wavelength and intensity, allowing tailored light conditions for specific reactions. They are energy-efficient and have a longer lifespan compared to other light sources.
  4. Metal halide lamps: These lamps emit a broad spectrum of light, including UV and visible wavelengths, and are often used in ultraviolet processes requiring high-intensity light.
  5. Laser systems: Laser sources can provide highly focused and intense light beams, enabling precise control over the reaction conditions and facilitating specific reactions.

The choice of light source depends on factors such as the desired wavelength range, intensity, energy efficiency, and compatibility with the reaction conditions.

Flow photochemical reactors offer enhanced efficiency, safety, scalability, and control, making them valuable tools for both research and industrial applications in the field of photochemistry.

The breakthrough Vapourtec UV-150 photochemical reactor makes photochemistry easily available to every chemistry lab. Eliminating the problems of traditional batch synthesis, the UV-150 reactor allows the full potential of photochemical reactors to be exploited. It offers safe, precise, efficient, consistent, and scalable photochemistry under continuous flow operation.


Photochemical reactor

Features of the UV-150 photochemical reactor

  • Compatible with R-Series and E-Series.
  • 3 light sources available.
  • Interchangeable light sources – all fit in the same reactor body.
  • Temperature control.
  • Multiple gram/hour scale-up.
  • Easily changed reactors.
  • Compact, space saving design.
  • Optional spectrometer for real-time transmission spectra.
  • Interlocks for safety.

Compatible with the R-Series and E-Series

The UV-150 photochemical reactor has been designed to interface with both Vapourtec R-Series and E-Series flow chemistry systems. In common with the Vapourtec’s family of reactors, the UV-150 simply plugs into the ports in the system. Connecting the temperature sensor and power supply module completes the installation. Installing and getting a reaction running with the UV-150 reactor takes less than 5 minutes.

Photochemical reactor with LED

Photochemical reactor with pump

Light sources

Vapourtec offers 3 different light sources to offer precise wavelengths between 220nm and 650nm.
Available light sources:

Medium pressure mercury lamp


Vapourtec mercury spectra


Low pressure mercury lamp


Vapourtec LED spectra


Monochromatic LEDs



Temperature control

The UV-150 photochemical reactor is designed to give safe and accurate heat management as well as the best possible reaction selectivity. It provides a temperature-controlled environment that can be set between -20°C and 80°C.

The reactor and lamp are housed in separate, sealed quartz chambers. Air is circulated within each chamber to dissipate heat and then separated exhausted from the system. The high flow rate of gas gives effective temperature control. A dichroic mirror further removes heat from the system and reflects more than 90% of UV energy back into the reactor.

Multiple gram/hour scale-up

The scale-up of traditional batch processes is challenging. The UV-150 photochemical reactor makes scale-up accessible.

The high power of the medium pressure mercury lamp, for example, allows the synthesis of multiple gram/hour quantities of material. In an experiment to replicate the [2+2] Cycloaddition of Maleimide and 1-Hexyne from published literature, conversions of greater than 5g/hour have been achieved.

Easily changed photochemical reactors

UV-150 replacement reactor

The UV-150 reactor is made from a single layer of thin walled, small-bore fluoropolymer tubing. This maximises the absorption of light photons by reagents.

UV-150 replacement reactor tube

Tubing is constructed into cartridges that can be easily removed and replaced within seconds. Standard reactor cartridges are available in 2ml, 5ml, or 10ml volumes, with smaller reactors advantageous in minimising reagent consumption when optimising reaction conditions. Vapourtec now offers a user rewindable 10ml cartridge. For more information on this please click here (links to the Rewindable reactors tab).

Photochemical reactor compact design

The compact design of the UV-150 photochemical reactor means it is much smaller than traditional photochemical reactors. In addition, there is no need for a large external recirculating chiller that has traditionally been used for cooling the lamp in other reactors.

The compact design means that the UV-150 reactor occupies only one reactor position on the E-Series or two reactor positions on the R-Series. This allows the scope for completing multiple steps (telescoped) photochemical reactions.


Photochemical reactor real time spectra data

Real time UV spectrometer

Real time spectral data is a huge benefit in photochemical reactions. The UV-150 photochemical reactor offers an optional spectrometer allowing spectral intensity, wavelengths, and reactant adsorption to be measured.

The reactor is provided with a fixture to clamp a fibre-optic probe. This probe conveys light to a spectrometer for analysis. The position of the fixture enables the probe to ‘look through’ the reactor directly towards the lamp. This allows the relative spectral intensity of the reactants to be measured as the reaction occurs.

Vapourtec can supply a suitable fibre-optic probe and CCD Spectrometer if required.

Interlocked for safety

Safety is fundamental in the UV-150 photochemical reactor design. The light source is completely enclosed allowing it to be safely used in a standard laboratory fume cabinet without any additional light shielding.

The power supply to the reactor is interlocked ensuring power is safely and automatically disconnected if the lamp becomes exposed. The forced ventilation system prevents the build-up of flammable gases or vapours.

Photochemical reactor

Need more help with the UV-150 Reactor?

Please use the contact methods below to talk to us about our products and services. We aim to respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

Call us on +44 (0)1284 728659 or Email us