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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!

Join in by:


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
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 »
Detecting Pesticides in Organic and Conventional Raspberries using Open Source Instrumentation - - @silverhammer - - 0 replications: Try it »
Tracking Plant Health Using Visible and Infrared Light -- Initial Experiences at an Arts High School - - @Travis - - 0 replications: Try it »
Calibrate your spectrometer in Spectral Workbench verify review-me @warren 15m easy 4 replications: Try it »
Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit 3.0 Assembly Instructions build complete @abdul 45min introductory 1 replications: Try it »
PLab 3 Gain Correction - - @stoft - - 0 replications: Try it »
Flame testing metal salts observe - @kgradow1 3h medium 0 replications: Try it »
Assemble a DIY Papercraft Spectrometer build complete @abdul 10min introductory 2 replications: Try it »
Water Quality Measurements with Optical Spectroscopy - under-development @philippg - - 0 replications: Try it »
Show 13 more
Light Amber - - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Lycopene - - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Fat percent in milk - - @wagnerc4 - - 0 replications: Try it »
Fraunhofer - - @cfastie 30m easy 1 replications: Try it »
Using the Spectroscope for Analysis of Concentration (Beer's Law) test-limits - @straylight 3h medium 0 replications: Try it »
Importing spectra from NIST and WebMineral.com to Spectral Workbench - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »
Testing the Oil Testing Kit: identifying a "somewhat unknown" sample - - @warren - - 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 »
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 0 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 »

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
3D printed mini spectrometer - - @rthalman - - 0 builds: Try it »
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 »
PLab 3 Spectrometer Upgrade Prototype - - @stoft - - 0 builds: Try it »
Some Suggestions for Spectrometer v3.0 and Oil Testing Kit (OTK) Attachment - - @ygzstc - - 0 builds: Try it »
Constructing a Desktop Spectrometer with no Wood, and no Velcro build in-progress @abdul 1h easy 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 »
Tweaks to foldable mini-spectrometer design build proposal @warren 1h easy 1 builds: Try it »
Show 11 more
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 »
Ongoing design of compact cuvette frame - under-development @warren 5h medium 0 builds: Try it »
PLab-3 Proto Slit Upgrade - - @stoft - - 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 »
How to do upgrade Desktop Spectrometer Kit 2.0 to the version 3.0 - in-progress @pablo - - 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 »
Spectrometer 3.0 Upgrades - - @programmer1200 - - 0 builds: Try it »
Build Instructions For The DH 4.0 v4 Spectrometer build in-progress @dhaffnersr 3h medium 0 builds: Try it »

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
What's an easy way to compare two liquid samples with a spectrometer? @warren about 1 month ago
Desktop Spectrometry Kit to arduino? @jjoll 5 months ago
Can a Spectrometer be used to detect material type? @jjoll 6 months ago
Can I upgrade a DIY spectrometer with a Raspberry Pi camera? @warren about 1 year ago
Question: Can DIY-spectrometer be used for analysis of soil @interestedperson_ha over 1 year ago
Getting the spectrometer to work with a Raspberry Pi? @anjohn12 over 1 year ago

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
Does the Beer Lambert law apply to the opacity of reagents? @warren 3 days ago
Can I use a Diffraction Grating Slide Holographic 1000 lines/mm instead of the CD? @oglezsa 21 days ago
How to connect a creative cam notebook with a smartphone? @KushalKC about 1 month ago
What's an easy way to compare two liquid samples with a spectrometer? @warren about 1 month ago
Calibaration or switching scale? @jayjay70 3 months ago
Spectrometry: degrees between gratings or camera and baseline @obisidian 4 months ago
How To Make Time Lapse Spectrometer @LightWaveResearch8000 4 months ago
Assembly completed but the camera doesn't work. @1987123 5 months ago
Desktop Spectrometry Kit to arduino? @jjoll 5 months ago
Any way to improve on the DVD grating? @dsvilko 5 months ago
Show 54 more
Can a Spectrometer be used to detect material type? @jjoll 6 months ago
Can this camera be suitable to make a spectrometer v3.0? @osetroff 6 months ago
Alternative spectrometry sample cells for Hach DR900 @fieldlab 7 months ago
Desktop Spectrometer Kit Availablility @bicwood 7 months ago
How do I... @Mekis 7 months ago
Testing Water For Specific Polluting Compounds @rajanzaveri 8 months ago
Paper size for stiff matte black card insert @Vman 8 months ago
making a slit in spectrometer @vafa 8 months ago
JDEPC-OV05 camera intelligent exposure @tim_spec 9 months ago
what causes spectral colors to be reversed? @vgoebel 10 months ago
Fraunhofer Lines at higher resolutions? @stef 10 months ago
How to get spectral data in excel or other formats @suha 10 months ago
Ambient/Light Bulb Testing @idev247 12 months ago
Photoreactive purple dye: can it block wavelengths longer than green? @axman about 1 year ago
Identify Plastic Material Using Infrared Imaging @shaikhgous about 1 year ago
Is the webcam from spectrometer v2.0 suitable for the upgrade to 3.0? @pablo about 1 year ago
Is there an iPhone app for foldable spectrometer? @CanfieldC about 1 year ago
Error on calibrating uploaded spectrum @sarahcm about 1 year ago
How do you use infrared light with the DIY Public Lab Spectrometer 3.0? @haribhimaraju about 1 year ago
how to delete my spectra on Spectral Workbench @redleon about 1 year ago
What are good containers to use for spectrometry samples? @warren about 1 year ago
Can I upgrade a DIY spectrometer with a Raspberry Pi camera? @warren about 1 year ago
How can I reduce ambient light inside the Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit? @warren about 1 year ago
What mechanical specs can and should PLab spectrometers meet? @stoft about 1 year ago
Arc Emissions- What electrodes to use? @m3sca1 about 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 over 1 year ago
Question: Can DIY-spectrometer be used for analysis of soil @interestedperson_ha over 1 year ago
Question: Using a webcam with a image resolution of 1920x1020 @seko over 1 year ago
Mini spectrophotometer - how does this deviate from the Beer-Lambert law? @FoxClass over 1 year ago
How to rename a set on Spectral Workbench? @AndrewJamesLaplante over 1 year ago
Question: How do I get the calibration user interface? @PeterDH over 1 year ago
Question: Why average? And what happens to the second Green? @viechdokter over 1 year ago
Question: Calibration... @Georgi over 1 year ago
Question: Focus on mobile phone @clownfish over 1 year ago
Question: I want to do citizen bee science @FortunaWolf over 1 year ago
Question: ccd camera on metascop @leanr over 1 year ago
Getting the spectrometer to work with a Raspberry Pi? @anjohn12 over 1 year ago
Question: How to I convert the spectrum from the webcam to a spectral power density graph. @cjtiaan over 1 year ago
Question: RE: Desktop Spectrometry Kit @Airship7 over 1 year 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 over 2 years ago
Question: IR filter in the camera @Ripingill over 2 years ago
Question: the camera look only white and dont have focus...it´s teh camera bad? @masolaric about 3 years ago
Question: Will the desk top spectrometer sense wear metals in motor oil? @upson about 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 over 3 years ago

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!


tool method chemicals oil-and-gas

list:plots-spectrometry activities:spectrometry upgrades:spectrometry