Public Lab Wiki documentation



Spectrometry



The Public Lab spectrometry project is an open source community effort to develop low-cost spectrometers for a range of purposes. All open spectrometry hardware and software efforts are welcome here!

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Activities

This is a list of community-generated guides for specific applications using your spectrometry setup (either a starter kit or a modded design). These activities can be categorized, and some may be more reproduced -- or reproducible -- than others. Try them out to build your skills, and help improve them by leaving comments. Together, we can repeat and refine the activities into experiments.

Note: If you are working on an urgent issue such as a threat to your or someone else’s health, please know that these techniques may not be ready for your use; it's possible that they never will be. Read more here

Activity grid

Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
Detecting Pesticides in Organic and Conventional Raspberries using Open Source Instrumentation - - @silverhammer - hard 0 replications: Try it »
Calibrate your spectrometer in Spectral Workbench verify review-me @warren 15m easy 5 replications: Try it »
Flame testing metal salts observe - @kgradow1 3h medium 0 replications: Try it »
Detection of Olive Oil Adulteration (with Peanut Oil) Using Visual Light Spectroscopy - - @ygzstc 10h medium 0 replications: Try it »
Detection of Added Sugar in Red Wine Using Visual Light Spectroscopy - - @ygzstc - - 0 replications: Try it »
Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit 3.0 Assembly Instructions build complete @abdul 45min introductory 1 replications: Try it »
Tracking Plant Health Using Visible and Infrared Light -- Initial Experiences at an Arts High School - - @Travis - - 0 replications: Try it »
PLab 3 Gain Correction - - @stoft - - 0 replications: Try it »
Build a papercraft spectrometer for your phone -- version 2.0 - - @warren - - 2 replications: Try it »
Assemble a DIY Papercraft Spectrometer build complete @abdul 10min introductory 3 replications: Try it »
Water Quality Measurements with Optical Spectroscopy - under-development @philippg - - 0 replications: Try it »
Fat percent in milk - - @wagnerc4 - - 0 replications: Try it »
Using the Spectroscope for Analysis of Concentration (Beer's Law) test-limits - @straylight 3h medium 0 replications: Try it »
Light Amber - - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Lycopene - - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Make a narrow slit for a DIY spectrometer out of paper - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »
Spectrometer 3.0 Cuvette Add-on - - @programmer1200 - - 0 replications: Try it »
Scan and compare different gases (in discharge tubes, like neon) using a DIY spectrometer - - @warren - - 14 replications: Try it »
Classroom Flame Spectroscopy - - @straylight - - 0 replications: Try it »
Fraunhofer - - @cfastie 30m easy 1 replications: Try it »
Testing the Oil Testing Kit: identifying a "somewhat unknown" sample - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »
Importing spectra from NIST and WebMineral.com to Spectral Workbench - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »
Draft: Collect a sample for laboratory analysis - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »
Attempt at Quantitative Analysis for Desktop Spectrometer - - @ben.alley43 - - 0 replications: Try it »
See the Fraunhofer absorption lines in sunlight verify draft @warren 1h easy 4 replications: Try it »
Setup for UV Testing with Specrtrometer - - @JoshMc - - 0 replications: Try it »
Stress-testing the Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit test-limits in-progress @warren 1h medium 0 replications: Try it »
Show 17 more

Add an activity  or request an activity

Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.


Upgrades

Have you added to your starter kit, improved it, or redesigned it? Show others how to take it to the next level by posting a build guide here:

Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Builds
Stability upgrade mockup for PLab Spectrometer 3.0 build review-me @stoft 1h easy 1 builds: Try it »
Ebert - - @cfastie - - 0 builds: Try it »
OTK Proto3 - - @stoft - - 0 builds: Try it »
3D printed mini spectrometer - - @rthalman - - 0 builds: Try it »
PLab 3 Spectrometer Upgrade Prototype - - @stoft - - 0 builds: Try it »
Constructing a Desktop Spectrometer with no Wood, and no Velcro build in-progress @abdul 1h easy 0 builds: Try it »
Some Suggestions for Spectrometer v3.0 and Oil Testing Kit (OTK) Attachment - - @ygzstc - - 0 builds: Try it »
Reduce light inside foldable PL spectrometer - - @xose - - 0 builds: Try it »
Prototype of easy-to-build rigid spectrometer housing - under-development @warren 3h easy 0 builds: Try it »
Reduce interior reflections in your spectrometer with black ink build review-me @warren 10m easy 2 builds: Try it »
Camera Focus IR Filter Removal - - @stef - - 0 builds: Try it »
How to do upgrade Desktop Spectrometer Kit 2.0 to the version 3.0 - in-progress @pablo - - 0 builds: Try it »
Ongoing design of compact cuvette frame - under-development @warren 5h medium 0 builds: Try it »
Spectrometer Light Tight Cover Build build - @stef 30m easy 0 builds: Try it »
Laser-cut the Desktop Spectrometry Kit v3 box - - @warren - - 0 builds: Try it »
PLab-3 Proto Slit Upgrade - - @stoft - - 0 builds: Try it »
All Paper-n-Tape Mock-Up Upgrade of PLab 3 Spectrometer build - @stoft - - 0 builds: Try it »
Build Instructions For The DH 4.0 v4 Spectrometer build review-me @dhaffnersr 3h medium 0 builds: Try it »
A more compact spectrometer - - @cristoforetti - - 0 builds: Try it »
Spectrometer 3.0 Upgrades - - @programmer1200 - - 0 builds: Try it »
An evolution of the Spectrometer for 3D printing - - @ajy00 - - 0 builds: Try it »
Build Instructions For The DH 4.0 v4 Spectrometer build in-progress @dhaffnersr 3h medium 0 builds: Try it »
Show 12 more

Add your upgrade guide here Request or propose an upgrade

Mods should include a parts list and a step-by-step construction guide with photo documentation. See an example.


Challenges

We're working to refine and improve DIY spectrometry on a number of fronts; here, take a look at the leading challenges we're hoping to solve, and post your own. For now, we're using the Q&A feature, so just click "Ask a question" to post your own challenge.

Be sure to add:

  • constraints: expense, complexity
  • goals: performance, use cases

Title Author Updated Likes
Can the spectrometer or turbocharger be used for lal testing? @Ag8n 18 days ago
How can we detect contaminants in water samples with a DIY spectrometer using reagents? @warren 4 months ago
Can a DIY spectrometer be used to measure water turbidity? @warren 4 months ago
What's an easy way to compare two liquid samples with a spectrometer? @warren 6 months ago
How do I collect a sample for laboratory analysis? @warren 7 months ago
Desktop Spectrometry Kit to arduino? @jjoll 10 months ago
Can a Spectrometer be used to detect material type? @jjoll 11 months ago
What are good containers to use for spectrometry samples? @warren over 1 year ago
Can I upgrade a DIY spectrometer with a Raspberry Pi camera? @warren over 1 year ago
Question: Can DIY-spectrometer be used for analysis of soil @interestedperson_ha almost 2 years ago
Getting the spectrometer to work with a Raspberry Pi? @anjohn12 about 2 years ago
Show 1 more

Ask a question  or help answer future questions


Builds

There’s a lot going on in open source spectrometry -- if you’ve developed another open source design you’d like to show others how to construct, post it here!

Starter Kits

Public Lab’s Kits initiative offers several starter kits, including many of the basic components, and instructions for constructing a basic visible light spectrometer. The point of the kits is to provide a shared reference design for building experimental setups onto.

Desktop Spectrometry Kit v3

Our most recent “reference design”, incorporating some community improvements while balancing low cost and relative ease of construction.

Build one Buy one

Foldable Mini-Spectrometer

A $10 foldable spectrometer which you can attach to a smartphone or webcam. It’s made of paper to reduce cost and complexity, and is mainly intended as an “introductory” or educational kit.

Build one Buy one


What's spectrometry?

Colored light is often a blend of different colors. A spectrometer is a device which splits those colors apart, like a prism, and measures the strength of each color. A typical output of a spectrometer looks like this spectrum of the daytime sky, with the actual light spectrum at the top and the graph of wavelength (horizontal axis, in nanometers of wavelength) and intensity (vertical axis) below:

sky.png

Needed: overview of spectra, calibration, units, comparison, and fluorescence/absorption. Please edit this page or link to a resource, potentially the Wikipedia page, although that's quite full of technical jargon.

Software

Spectral data can be analyzed with https://spectralworkbench.org to create spectra plots, find centers of emissions plots, and find similar spectra. Data also can be exported in various formats (JSON, CSV, XML) for further analysis and visualization.

How does this compare to a lab instrument?

The Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit is only one part in an experimental setup, and the following shows where it fits in an overall diagram of a lab spectrometric setup:

tmp_31873-IMG_20161027_101601_2-79757779.jpg

tmp_31873-IMG_20161027_095939_2-108076392.jpg

There are many, many different types of spectrometry and spectrometers -- many don’t even measure light. Even among those that do, some detect light in the ultraviolet range, and others in the infrared range of light.

The range of Public Lab spectrometers depends on the range of the commercially available cameras we attach them to (~400-700 nanometer wavelengths). A commercially available product with a slightly wider range (from 335 to 1000 nanometers) is available from Cole Parmer.


Frequently Asked Questions

Title Author Updated Likes
Do a DVD is provided with the LEGO kit ? ty ! @adamsanta 23 days ago
can a spectrometer be used to measure color of water ? @thangvu 27 days ago
Quantitative analysis of wood moisture @MarcioPamplona about 1 month ago
How do I make sure the "YELLOW LINE" threshold is the same for each measurement with the spectormeter (trying to maintain consistent conditions for experiments across multiple days) @Dr_Z about 1 month ago
Lego Spectrometer suitable for studying sunlight? @jsbonillam about 2 months ago
Possible sources of more spectrometer information @Ag8n 3 months ago
Can I get a file of numbers instead of a graph from the foldable spectrometer software? @mountevans 3 months ago
How to interpret the results? @amir129 3 months ago
Preferred slit size? @asnow 3 months ago
Do I need to use a DVD-R? Will a CD-R work too? @jordankc 3 months ago
Camera that would detect at 1064nm? @jpschaaf 3 months ago
Whats the detection limit of the Desktop Spectrometry kit? @partyparrot4eva 3 months ago
Quantifying Phytonutrients using a Spectrometer, Possible? @zayas 4 months ago
I want to know a method to quantify milk proteins using the foldable mini spectrometer, Is this possible? @julsmill 4 months ago
How can we detect contaminants in water samples with a DIY spectrometer using reagents? @warren 4 months ago
Can a DIY spectrometer be used to measure water turbidity? @warren 4 months ago
Noise when Trying to Analyze Spectrum @matthart610 5 months ago
Does anyone know what image processing spectral workbench does to find intensity at wavelength/ where to find the coding for that? @Reallygeek 5 months ago
Does the Beer Lambert law apply to the opacity of reagents? @warren 5 months ago
Would the desktop spectrometry kit work for measuring fluorescent responses? @ICSK 5 months ago
Can I use a Diffraction Grating Slide Holographic 1000 lines/mm instead of the CD? @oglezsa 6 months ago
How to connect a creative cam notebook with a smartphone? @KushalKC 6 months ago
What's an easy way to compare two liquid samples with a spectrometer? @warren 6 months ago
Calibaration or switching scale? @jayjay70 8 months ago
Spectrometry: degrees between gratings or camera and baseline @obisidian 9 months ago
How To Make Time Lapse Spectrometer @LightWaveResearch8000 9 months ago
Assembly completed but the camera doesn't work. @1987123 10 months ago
Desktop Spectrometry Kit to arduino? @jjoll 10 months ago
Any way to improve on the DVD grating? @dsvilko 10 months ago
Can a Spectrometer be used to detect material type? @jjoll 11 months ago
Can this camera be suitable to make a spectrometer v3.0? @osetroff 11 months ago
Alternative spectrometry sample cells for Hach DR900 @fieldlab 12 months ago
Desktop Spectrometer Kit Availablility @bicwood about 1 year ago
How do I... @Mekis about 1 year ago
Testing Water For Specific Polluting Compounds @rajanzaveri about 1 year ago
Paper size for stiff matte black card insert @Vman about 1 year ago
making a slit in spectrometer @vafa about 1 year ago
JDEPC-OV05 camera intelligent exposure @tim_spec about 1 year ago
what causes spectral colors to be reversed? @vgoebel about 1 year ago
Fraunhofer Lines at higher resolutions? @stef about 1 year ago
How to get spectral data in excel or other formats @suha about 1 year ago
Ambient/Light Bulb Testing @idev247 over 1 year ago
Photoreactive purple dye: can it block wavelengths longer than green? @axman over 1 year ago
Identify Plastic Material Using Infrared Imaging @shaikhgous over 1 year ago
Is the webcam from spectrometer v2.0 suitable for the upgrade to 3.0? @pablo over 1 year ago
Is there an iPhone app for foldable spectrometer? @CanfieldC over 1 year ago
Error on calibrating uploaded spectrum @sarahcm over 1 year ago
How do you use infrared light with the DIY Public Lab Spectrometer 3.0? @haribhimaraju over 1 year ago
how to delete my spectra on Spectral Workbench @redleon over 1 year ago
What are good containers to use for spectrometry samples? @warren over 1 year ago
Can I upgrade a DIY spectrometer with a Raspberry Pi camera? @warren over 1 year ago
How can I reduce ambient light inside the Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit? @warren over 1 year ago
What mechanical specs can and should PLab spectrometers meet? @stoft over 1 year ago
Arc Emissions- What electrodes to use? @m3sca1 over 1 year ago
Is there a simple and reliable way to test the rigidity of the spectrometer? @bsugar over 1 year ago
How can a spectrometer's wavelength resolution be measured? @warren over 1 year ago
Can i upload csv files on spectralworkbench for calibration and other purposes? @shubham over 1 year ago
How to neutralize/remove the source's spectra to obtain absorption spectra? @shubham over 1 year ago
Spectrometer from a drone @sylvainbonhommeau almost 2 years ago
Question: Can DIY-spectrometer be used for analysis of soil @interestedperson_ha almost 2 years ago
Question: Using a webcam with a image resolution of 1920x1020 @seko almost 2 years ago
Mini spectrophotometer - how does this deviate from the Beer-Lambert law? @FoxClass almost 2 years ago
How to rename a set on Spectral Workbench? @AndrewJamesLaplante almost 2 years ago
Question: How do I get the calibration user interface? @PeterDH almost 2 years ago
Question: Why average? And what happens to the second Green? @viechdokter almost 2 years ago
Question: Calibration... @Georgi almost 2 years ago
Question: Focus on mobile phone @clownfish almost 2 years ago
Question: I want to do citizen bee science @FortunaWolf about 2 years ago
Question: ccd camera on metascop @leanr about 2 years ago
Getting the spectrometer to work with a Raspberry Pi? @anjohn12 about 2 years ago
Question: How to I convert the spectrum from the webcam to a spectral power density graph. @cjtiaan about 2 years ago
Question: RE: Desktop Spectrometry Kit @Airship7 about 2 years ago
Question: Desktop Spectrometry Kit @clmchenr over 2 years ago
Question: Can signal be exported from Spectral Workbench? @clmchenr over 2 years ago
Question: Range @Gasam almost 3 years ago
Question: IR filter in the camera @Ripingill about 3 years ago
Question: the camera look only white and dont have focus...it´s teh camera bad? @masolaric over 3 years ago
Question: Will the desk top spectrometer sense wear metals in motor oil? @upson over 3 years ago
Sample container search @warren over 3 years ago
Question: More of a comment, really @bowlerhatman over 3 years ago
Accuracy of assembled Desktop Spectrometry kit? @WhiteRabbit over 3 years ago
Question: Can the Public Labs Desktop Spectrometer analyze light from a patch of grass? @WhiteRabbit over 3 years ago
Question: any low light settings for web cam used in desktop spectrometry kit? @Henry0815 almost 4 years ago
Show 73 more

Ask a question  or help answer future questions

Note our previous Frequently Asked Questions page, which can be found here » -- please help port these into the new system, here!


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