Caryn S. Seney
Department of Chemistry
Mercer University

Wednesday, March 3, 2004
Willet Science Center 101

"Opening the Black Box: A New Perspective
on Modular Instrument Design"

Abstract:  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 instrumentation.

Please join us for light refreshments outside WSC 109 at 4:15.

Mercer Physics Seminar Homepage

Mercer Physics Department