Question: Whats the detection limit of the Desktop Spectrometry kit?

partyparrot4eva is asking a question about spectrometry
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by partyparrot4eva | January 17, 2018 01:08 | #15536


I'm interested in trying the Spectrometry on various foods and other objects items in my home.

I can't find any articles where someone has estimated the detection limit.

For example the FDA maximum limit for Mercury is 1 ppm.

Would I be able to detect this?


Metals usually take instruments like atomic absorption (AA) or inductively coupled plasma (ICP). These instruments can NOT be done easily on the PL labs spectrometer.

For example, for mercury, you need the AA, a cold vapor aparatus, and a mercury hollow cathode lamp tuned to 254 nm. The last AA I bought was about $30k. It was middle of the road. This was about 2000.

Sorry to say, I think you need another approach for metals like mercury.

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There are two devices I'm familiar with which could be relevant to your question:

Nima - uses detection strips for gluten SCIO - can measure the concentration of fat and other ingredients in foods. But just for high contents, not ppm/ppb.

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Limit of detection is dependent on instrument and method used. Desktop spectrometer works only with visible light, so for detection of substance you need selective reaction with another substance that makes colour. Try searching: spectrophotometric determination of mercury. Common problems are big limit of detection, rare and expensive chemicals, influence of other substances. There are some interesting method using chemically modified carbon nanotubes...

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