Public Lab Research note


Laser oil fluorescence proof of concept

by warren | May 14, 2013 20:03 | 81 views | 3 comments | #7551 | 81 views | 3 comments | #7551 14 May 20:03

Read more: publiclab.org/n/7551


I just worked with some smart and excitable kids from Parts & Crafts and we managed to get a sample of suspected motor oil residue from a nearby street drain to fluoresce strongly enough to be detected (faintly) by a desktop spectrometry kit:

https://spectralworkbench.org/analyze/spectrum/7893

Exciting! See the red region just below 600 nanometers.

We did it by using one of the "psychedelic effects" caps for the green laser pointer, which makes crazy pattterns of laser light -- but importantly, it spread the beam of the laser out enough to create a lot more fluorescence. The signal is very faint, but definitely there.

IMG_20130514_155753.jpg


3 Comments

Greetings, can you tell me the brand and technical specifications of the laser you used in this experiment ? I would definitly like to expand on this idea. I understand some methods involve using UV lasers / LEDs in order to detect hydrocarbons and that red lasers also create fluorescence in certain samples.

Also, Do you know of any charts or reference indicating what substance emits what color spectrum using which type of laser ? If not, it seems to me such a chart would be a great project to work on and share.

Thanks !

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what freq / amperage etc is this laser?

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