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ERIC Number: EJ1003033
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
A Low-Cost Quantitative Absorption Spectrophotometer
Albert, Daniel R.; Todt, Michael A.; Davis, H. Floyd
Journal of Chemical Education, v89 n11 p1432-1435 Nov 2012
In an effort to make absorption spectrophotometry available to high school chemistry and physics classes, we have designed an inexpensive visible light absorption spectrophotometer. The spectrophotometer was constructed using LEGO blocks, a light emitting diode, optical elements (including a lens), a slide-mounted diffraction grating, and a photodiode detector. The photodiode detector was mounted on a rotatable arm for wavelength selection based on elementary laws of diffraction. This simple design demonstrates basic physical principles (such as diffraction and absorption of light) that are frequently lost in commercial "black box" instruments. The homemade spectrophotometer's performance, as measured by comparison to a commercial spectrophotometer, was shown to be sufficiently quantitative to facilitate experiments in chemistry or physics classrooms. (Contains 4 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A