Which HPLC and UHPLC detector is right for you?

Confidently detect the analytes in your sample with the wide array of detectors available for the Thermo Scientific Vanquish HPLC and UHPLC systems. Our portfolio includes a variety of optical detectors: UV-Vis absorption detectors, fluorescence detectors and refractive index detectors. You can add pH and conductivity monitoring with UV-Vis absorption detectors. And our charged aerosol detectors provide sensitive, universal detection with a near-uniform response. 

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Detector Analyte Requirements Notes 
Charged Aerosol Detector (CAD) Analyte must be non- or semi-volatile. Universal detection independent of chemical structure with a near-uniform response for non-volatile and many semi-volatile analytes. 
Diode Array Detector (DAD), also known as Photodiode Array (PDA) Detector Analyte must contain a chromophore. Acquire UV-Vis spectra in multiple channels and a 3D spectra over a wide dynamic range.
Multiple Wavelength Detector (MWD) Analyte must contain a chromophore. Acquire UV-Vis spectra in multiple channels over a wide dynamic range.
Variable Wavelength Detector (VWD) Analyte must contain a chromophore. Acquire UV-Vis spectra with excellent linearity and noise performance.  
Fluorescence Detector (FLD) Analyte must contain a fluorophore or be derivatized or labelled with a fluorescent label. High selectivity and up to 10-1000 times more sensitivity than UV-Vis detectors.
Mass Spectrometer (MS) Analyte must be ionizable. Detects and identifies based on mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) and the parent or precursor m/z can be fragmented for further specificity depending on the MS selected.
Refractive Index Detector (RID) For sugars, polymers, surfactants and other compounds that do not contain a chromophore. Measures the change in refractive index of the eluent caused by the analyte.
pH and Conductivity Monitor Does not directly detect the analyte in a sample, but rather monitors the pH and conductivity of the effluent. Used for applications such as monitoring the pH gradient for protein separations on an ion-exchange column as the elution is dependent on their isoelectric points (pI), so knowing the pH of the effluent is required for consistent and reproducible separations. 

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Charged Aerosol Detectors

Get sensitive, universal detection with a near-uniform response using our charged aerosol detectors. A CAD can measure a wide range of analytes of interest in fields as diverse as pharmaceuticals, biomolecules, food and beverage, specialty chemicals and polymers. The flexibility of these detectors makes them ideal for R & D, while their simplicity and data reproducibility meet the demands of QC/QA laboratories. 


Vanquish CAD

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Corona Veo CAD


Using the increased separation speed and resolution of the Vanquish UHPLC system, the Thermo Scientific Vanquish Charged Aerosol Detector detects and quantifies non- or semi-volatile substances with near-universal detection capabilities. Integrating into any LC, HPLC, or UHPLC system from any manufacturer, the Corona Veo CAD can be used with capillary, microbore, and normal-bore columns to take advantage of evolving column technologies.

Diode Array & Multiple Wavelength Detectors

Thermo Scientific Diode Array Detectors (DADs) and Multiple Wavelength Detectors (MWDs) use a variety of technologies to provide you with the flexibility to choose the right solution for your application.

Vanquish DAD and MWD

Offering superior linearity and optimized noise performance, Thermo Scientific Vanquish DADs feature an ultra-wide dynamic range and low limits of detection to allow detection of highly concentrated main compounds alongside trace-level impurities.

Variable Wavelength Detectors

Ensure high sensitivity and accuracy during UV-Vis detection of your analytes with our variable wavelength detectors (VWDs) for HPLC. Thermo Scientific Variable Wavelength Detectors offer excellent noise, drift, and linearity performance to support a wide operating range and trace compound detection.

Vanquish VWD

Offering excellent linearity and noise performance across a wide operating range, Thermo Scientific Vanquish Variable Wavelength Detectors provide versatile, robust, high-performance UV-Vis absorption detection. With up to 250 Hz data collection rate, the detector meets both current and future HPLC and UHPLC detection challenges.

Fluorescence Detectors

Fluorescence detectors rely on the ability of some compounds to emit light after activation with light of a different wavelength. Many pharmaceuticals, natural products, petroleum products, and biomolecules fluoresce naturally; other compounds, such as amino acids, proteins, or glycans can be labeled with fluorescent tags. With careful wavelength selection and filtering of excitation and emission light, users can enable fluorescence detectors to reach high selectivity, along with 10 to 1,000 times more sensitivity than UV detectors.

Vanquish FLD

Offering trace detection performance through highly effective stray light suppression, Thermo Scientific Vanquish FLDs reduce thermal effects using temperature-controlled flow cells for increased detection precision. These detectors can monitor up to four wavelength pairs simultaneously or scan a chromatogram for the best emission/excitation wavelengths.

Mass Spectrometry Detection

Mass spectrometers provide sensitivity and selectivity for your analyses, giving you more insight into your samples and ability to resolve difficult separations, including co-eluting peaks, using differing mass-to-charge (m/z) ratios.


Thermo Scientific LC-MS systems deliver on ease without sacrificing high performance. A unified instrument architecture under Thermo Scientific Chromeleon CDS enables seamless performance between systems, facilitates easier method transfer, and accelerates familiarization for new users. Streamlined data processing software, algorithms and libraries address both the most challenging research as well as routine applications.

Single quadrupole mass spectrometers

Our single quadrupole MS systems set new standards for robustness and ease-of-use. They are built for everyday, reliable routine operation with seamless integration into your HPLC or UHPLC system.

Triple quadrupole mass spectrometer

From achieving ultimate sensitivity requirements, robustness, reliability, and speed, triple quadrupole LC-MS systems help you address your challenges in routine, targeted quantitation for all molecule types.

Ion trap mass spectrometers

For general purpose mass spectrometers, ion trap mass spectrometers are cost-effective and provide automation features which enable all users, despite expertise level, to be more confident in not only their results, but instrument operation skills.

Orbitrap mass spectrometers

Benefit from the high-resolution, accurate-mass (HRAM) performance advantages offered by our unique Orbitrap mass analyzers. Orbitrap-based systems connect to liquid chromatography equipment to enhance separation of unknown and known compounds and enable high-throughput workflows.

Refractive Index Detector

Refractive index (RI) detection is a cost-effective solution recommended for routine analysis of non-UV absorbing compounds. It is an excellent choice for the analysis of sugars, polymers, surfactants and other compounds that do not contain a chromophore.

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