This spectrometer is made with a black card inserts inside a 1" PVC or aluminum conduit box, and uses an HD USB webcam. This allows the user to view the spectrum in real-time, rather than taking a photo and analyzing it later. See a full bill of materials here:
This hardware design is released under the CERN Open Hardware License 1.1.
(these are approximated but we should soon post a page with calibration information)
- around 400-900nm, maybe wider
- 5-10nm spectral resolution
- 20-30 samples per second
- around $20 in materials, drops to around $10 if you use a really cheap webcam
- approx. 1 hour construction time
- web-based, open-source capture/analysis software at: http://spectralworkbench.org
Our early goals are to:
- Identify a contaminant in a sample, like Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons -- like naphthalene, anthracene and tetracene. Tetracene has absorption bands well into the visible range.
- Identify a plant species by its spectrum. (see this helpful paper by Zomer et al) Or perhaps a mineral, using the ASTER spectral library
- Try to identify something in a smokestack plume, like a refinery plume
How to build your own
Instructions on building your spectrometer can be found here: