Department of Chemistry
March 3, 2004
Willet Science Center 101
"Opening the Black Box: A New Perspective
The cost of commercial analytical instrumentation often exceeds the budgetary constraints of
undergraduate chemistry programs. As such, many educational institutions are unable to purchase the
instrumentation necessary for quantitative analyses. The introduction of the relatively inexpensive
charge-coupled-device (CCD) detector allows for a cheaper method of analysis while observing a wide range of
wavelengths. The detectors' high sensitivity, variable integration time and wavelength range allow for the study of
several spectroscopic methods such as Raman, UV/Vis and fluorescence. A modular spectroscopic instrument
utilizing these spectroscopic methods was constructed. The analytical performance of this instrument was
characterized through concentration studies of various compounds for the Raman and UV/Vis techniques.
Summing the cost of a spectrometer for each of these techniques; Raman ($20,000), UV/Vis ($12,000),
fluorescence ($20,000) requires an investment of approximately $52,000 to implement these techniques in
one's laboratory. This research shows the advantage of using a modular system, such as the one described
here, costing about $8,600, while also allowing students to gain a practical understanding of analytical
on Modular Instrument Design"
join us for light refreshments outside WSC 109 at 4:15.
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