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Wold, S., “Chemometrics; what do we mean with it, and what do we want from it?,” Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, 30(1), 109-115, Nov. 1995.

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Article

Low-cost Spectroscopy: Experiments in Various Spectral Ranges

1Didactics of Chemistry, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany

2Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany


World Journal of Chemical Education. 2021, Vol. 9 No. 4, 144-151
DOI: 10.12691/wjce-9-4-7
Copyright © 2021 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Patrick Gräb, Ekkehard Geidel, Hans-Christian Schmitt. Low-cost Spectroscopy: Experiments in Various Spectral Ranges. World Journal of Chemical Education. 2021; 9(4):144-151. doi: 10.12691/wjce-9-4-7.

Correspondence to: Ekkehard  Geidel, Didactics of Chemistry, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany. Email: ekkehard.geidel@uni-wuerzburg.de

Abstract

Teaching the basic principles of molecular spectroscopic techniques on an experimental basis is often a particular challenge due to the relatively high cost of the required experimental equipment. The present contribution therefore offers an experimentally-based introduction into the field of spectroscopy using low-cost devices for practical courses at undergraduate level and for chemistry lessons in high schools. Using low-cost devices are also useful for schools in developing countries or poorly-funded school systems. Several experiments, specifically tailored for chemistry lessons, are developed, aiming to provide a close relation to the everyday life experience of students. Initially, a simple spectrometer working within the visible range of light is constructed by the student themselves. This low-cost dispersive spectrometer is employed for quantitative food analyses. In a second step, an introduction to spectroscopy in the near-infrared range is given using an example based on the identification of plastics. On this basis, a model experiment using a self-constructed apparatus for plastic waste separation in miniature was developed. Finally, experiments in the mid-infrared range are presented. They introduce into the functionality of a Michelson interferometer and demonstrate the use of low-cost carbon dioxide sensors. Using this strategy, students gain easier access to an understanding of radiation-matter interaction.

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