In chemistry, spectrophotometry is the quantitative measurement of the reflection or transmission properties of a material as a function of wavelength. It is more specific than the general term electromagnetic spectroscopy in that spectrophotometry deals with visible light, near-ultraviolet, and near-infrared, but does not cover time-resolved spectroscopic techniques.
Spectrophotometry involves the use of a spectrophotometer. A spectrophotometer is a photometer that can measure intensity as a function of the light source wavelength. Important features of spectrophotometers are spectral bandwidth and linear range of absorption or reflectance measurement.
A spectrophotometer is commonly used for the measurement of transmittance or reflectance of solutions, transparent or opaque solids, such as polished glass, or gases. However they can also be designed to measure the diffusivity on any of the listed light ranges that usually cover around 200nm – 2500nm using different controls and calibrations. Within these ranges of light, calibrations are needed on the machine using standards that vary in type depending on the wavelength of the photometric determination.