Choose the NanoDrop instrument that fits your needs

We offer a choice of instruments to fit the needs of most laboratories. Whether it’s our flagship Thermo Scientific NanoDrop One or NanoDrop OneMicrovolume UV-Vis Spectrophotometer for quantification, purity, and sample intelligence; our high-throughput NanoDrop Eight Spectrophotometer to process plated samples, eight at a time; or our basic NanoDrop Lite Plus Spectrophotometer for essential quantitation and purity ratios, we have an instrument to suit your lab’s applications and budget.


Tip: If you need to measure samples with very low nucleic acid or protein concentrations, consider a Qubit fluorometer instead of—or in addition to—a NanoDrop spectrophotometer. Check out our comparison summary to decide.

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Which NanoDrop instrument should you choose?



NanoDrop One/OneC

NanoDrop Eight

NanoDrop Lite Plus 

Product summary

Full-spectrum microvolume UV-Vis measurements with a cuvette option in a single instrument

High-throughput, full-spectrum microvolume UV-Vis measurements

Basic microvolume UV measurements

Sampling options

NanoDrop One: Pedestal only

NanoDrop OneC:
Pedestal and cuvette



Measures 1–2 µL sample

Dynamic range
(ng/µL dsDNA)

ng/µL for dsDNA

ng/µL for dsDNA

ng/µL for dsDNA

Full-spectra data


Pre-programmed methods for nucleic acids and proteins

Measures nucleic acid A260

Measures nucleic acid A260/A280 ratio

Measures nucleic acid A260/A230 ratio

Measures purified protein A280

Measures protein and peptides at A205


Measures protein A260/A280 ratio

Pre-programmed methods for colorimetric assays (BCA, Bradford, Lowry, Pierce 660)


Custom methods


Built-in cuvette option

 (NanoDrop OneC)



Standalone local control

Requires computer

High-resolution touchscreen interface


Measures fluorescent-labeled nucleic acid and protein samples using absorbance


Measures a wide variety of fluorescence assays: RiboGreen™, PicoGreen™, GFP, BFP mutants, Hoechst, 4-MU, Quantum Dots, OPA, DyLite™, Alexa Fluor™, etc.




Measures multiple fluorophores from a single sample




Autoblank and Automeasure


Acclaro contaminant identification


21 CFR Part 11 regulatory compliance

Optional Security Suite Software

Optional SciVault Software


Password-protected access

Optional Security Suite Software

Optional SciVault Software


Embedded technical support **


Enhanced connectivity (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth™)



Thermo Fisher Connect (cloud enabled)



*Lowest detection limit is 0.2 ng/µL with 10 mm cuvette.
**Instrument is delivered with English software and help. Language packs can be downloaded from our website

NanoDrop One/Oneᶜ Microvolume UV-Vis Spectrophotometer

The Thermo Scientific NanoDrop One/OneC Spectrophotometer is a compact, stand-alone UV-visible spectrophotometer for measurement of highly concentrated samples without the need for dilution across a wide variety of analytes. A glove-compatible touchscreen offers easy access to preloaded software applications and enables purity and concentration assessments in seconds. Built-in Thermo Scientific Acclaro Sample Intelligence technology helps identify and correct for the contaminants present.

NanoDrop Eight Microvolume UV-Vis Spectrophotometer

The compact Thermo Scientific NanoDrop Eight Spectrophotometer measures eight samples at a time in less than 20 seconds. It is an ideal choice for pharma/biotech and academic researchers needing a higher throughput capacity for measuring nucleic acid and protein samples. NanoDrop Eight software identifies sample contaminants and reports true sample concentration with the built-in Thermo Scientific Acclaro Sample Intelligence technology.

NanoDrop Lite Plus Spectrophotometer

The affordable Thermo Scientific NanoDrop Lite Plus Microvolume Spectrophotometer enables any lab to easily assess purified DNA, RNA, and protein concentrations and purity ratios. While this entry-level unit offers fewer features than our premium models, it delivers the same fast, accurate, reliable measurements synonymous with the NanoDrop platform. The easy-to-use, affordable package is a great option for teachers and researchers.

NanoDrop spectrophotometer vs Qubit fluorometer

In addition to UV-Vis absorbance, another technology often used to quantify nucleic acids or proteins is fluorometry, in which samples are stained with a fluorescent dye highly specific to the analyte of interest. Invitrogen Qubit Fluorometers use this method to quantify DNA, RNA, and protein.


Which is better? It depends on your application and the needs of your laboratory. If you need sample qualification or purity ratios, you’ll want a NanoDrop spectrophotometer. If you have very dilute or difficult-to-process samples, you’ll want a Qubit fluorometer. In some circumstances, you may want both.


Quantitation: Comparing Qubit 4 fluorometry to NanoDrop One UV-Vis absorbance


See how both fluorescence and UV-Vis technologies can be used for DNA, RNA, or protein quantification for all your downstream experiments.

The table shows key differences between the two technologies. For a more comprehensive comparison, see our RNA/DNA quantification page.



NanoDrop spectrophotometers

Qubit fluorometers



UV-Vis absorbance


Key advantages

  • Fast and simple. Allows for direct quantification of samples without dilution or sample preparation.
  • Identifies and corrects for contaminants, including RNA in DNA samples and vice versa.
  • Sensitive. Accurate for very dilute or difficult-to-process samples.
  • Specific. Can distinguish between dsDNA and ssDNA or microRNA and total RNA. Assays kits contain reagents specific to many common analytes.

Time to results



dsDNA quantitation range

0.2–27,500 ng/µL*

0.005–4,000 ng/µL 

Sample qualification (purity)

  • Calculates standard purity ratios.
  • Acclaro Sample Intelligence technology identifies and corrects for contaminants such as protein or guanidine.
  • Assays are relatively tolerant of common contaminants but do not identify or quantify them.

*dsDNA quantitation range for NanoDrop One/OneC instrument is 2.0 ng/µL with pedestal and 0.2 ng/µL with cuvette.

Qubit HS and 1X dsDNA Assay kits can quantify samples as dilute as 0.005 ng/µL, while the Qubit 1X dsDNA BR Assay kit can measure samples as concentrated as 4,000 ng/µL, depending on sample volume.


When would you want to use both NanoDrop and Qubit instruments?

If you need both highly sensitive nucleic acid or protein quantitation and assessments of sample purity, you will want to use both a NanoDrop spectrophotometer and a Qubit fluorometer in your lab.


For example, if your lab workflow includes qPCR assays, you will need accurate template quantitation and contaminant identification to comply with MIQE guidelines, required by many scientific journals. As shown in the video, insufficient template can lead to inaccurate results. Using a combination of a NanoDrop spectrophotometer and a Qubit fluorometer can give you a more complete picture of input RNA quantity, purity, and integrity.

qPCR template qualification using NanoDrop One and Qubit 4 instruments


Together the NanoDrop One Spectrophotometer and Qubit 4 Fluorometer provide a complete solution for your nucleic acid quantification and qualification needs.