Low-cost (<€5), open-source, potential alternative to commercial spectrophotometers

Pereira, V.R and Hosker, B.S (2019) 'Low-cost (<€5), open-source, potential alternative to commercial spectrophotometers.' PLOS Biology, 17 (6). ISSN 1545-7885

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000321


Spectrophotometry is a fundamental technique in many areas of science, with many applications and uses. The cost of spectrophotometers has acted as a barrier on the teaching and use of the technique. Here, we provide open-source plans to a 3D-printed cuvette holder with an interchangeable narrow–spectral bandwidth light-emitting diode (LED) block that can be used in conjunction with a smartphone’s ambient light sensor (ALS) to perform spectrophotometry. A Lego version with an interchangeable LED block is also presented. Results from the smartphone spectrophotometer in comparison with commercially available spectrophotometers demonstrated functionality, and the model may have many applications, especially in indirect spectrophotometry, such as in the protein assay shown here. The plans for the 3D-printed model are freely available on GitHub, as are editable files to allow customisation by users. We would encourage users to share adaptations with the scientific community.

Item Type: Article

The article is available to read at the URL above.

Keywords: spectrophotometers, cell phones, light, light emitting diodes, spectrophotometry, 3D printing, emission spectra, optical materials
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2019 12:42
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2019 12:42
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