Unlike expected, the SCiO will not be delivered on time. An alternative was presented to us; to make our own spectrometer. There are guides that specify how to build a spectrometer which would be an good starting point for our project.
This week two absorbtion spectrometer prototypes were built according to the guides. We have multiple options on how to continue. The first option would be to make a more complete spectrometer with an integrated webcam that would be able to connect to any device with a USB port. Software is freely available that records through the webcam and gives a graphical interpretation of the light spectrum that enters the spectrometer. A test should be made with multiple samples to see if each sample gives a different characteristic result. These results can then be compared to more conventional spectrometers in the TU Chemisty Lab. A comparison of results will show if there is room for improvement.
The second option would be to widen the scope of our project by building a fluorescence spectrometer, which gives more accurate results for light oils. Given the fact a fluorescence requires a UV laser and a stand for the oil sample, it is less feasible to make a fluorescence spectrometer that is as portable as a absorbtion spectrometer.
What we have learned so far.
During these two weeks we have learned about different principles behind a variety of spectrometers such as absorbtion spectrometers and fluorescence spectrometers.
One of the two possible options will be presented on the Science Fair on the 28th of october. We will aim to finish a prototype that contains the same components as a professional spectrometer while also achieving decent and usefull results.