The SpecUP educational spectrophotometer Dr Patricia Forbes Department of Chemistry University of Pretoria, South Africa The motivation The analytical instrument The motivation The analytical instrument The motivation Results The analytical instrument The motivation Results The analytical instrument The motivation And also: • High student numbers • Cost considerations The concept Third year analytical chemistry students build their own spectrophotometer using components from a kit provided. They use their instrument to conduct experiments, ranging from fundamental to applied. The practical session should ideally follow on from or be run in parallel to the presentation of a series of lectures on spectroscopy. Cost of the SpecUP: • ~R600 as compared to ~R30 000 for a commercial spectrophotometer • Thor Labs educational spectrophotometer ~R12 000 Possible components of a DIY spectrophotometer: Possible components of a DIY spectrophotometer Aperture Grating Slit Sample Light source Lens Detector linked to amplifier & voltmeter Detector = light dependent resistor. Resistance decreases when more light falls on it, thus current increases. Possible components of a DIY spectrophotometer Aperture Grating Slit Sample Light source Detector linked to amplifier & voltmeter Lens Yellow incident light Possible components of a DIY spectrophotometer - moveable slit Aperture Grating Slit Sample Light source Detector linked to amplifier & voltmeter Lens Green incident light Possible components of a DIY spectrophotometer - moveable slit Aperture Grating Slit Sample Light source Lens Detector linked to amplifier & voltmeter The spectrum produced by the grating is projected onto graph paper to produce a wavelength scale. Calibration is preformed by eye, using a table of colour wavelength ranges. ..or a moveable grating Aperture Grating Slit Sample Light source Lens Detector linked to amplifier & voltmeter …or coloured filters Aperture Grating Slit Sample Colour filters Light source Lens Disadvantages: Limited data points and low intensities Detector linked to amplifier & voltmeter Main limitation of this design: most components are fixed… The spectrophotometer showing LED, LDR, amplifier and sample cuvette …and the liquid sample is on the electric circuit board… Tavener, S.J. and Thomas-Oates, J.E., 2007, Education in Chemistry, 44, 151-154. Which spectrophotometer design? Depends on the target audience: • Primarily analytical chemistry students • Other disciplines which use spectrophotometry include: • Physics • Pharmacy • Geography (e.g. sun photometer) • Environmental science • Food science • Biochemistry • Electrical engineering • Computer science Electronics Spectrophotometer circuit diagram Yeh, T.-S., S.J. and Tseng S-S., 2006, Journal of Chinese Chemical Science, 53, 1067-1072. Electronics Spectrophotometer circuit diagram Final design…the SpecUP The SpecUP But what is inside?.... Top view LED Lens Grating 10-125 mm 400 mm Cuvette LDR 70-200 mm 290 mm 100 mm 340 mm 30 mm 20 mm Fully retracted: 800 mm Fully contracted: 540 mm Side view LED Lens Grating 50-160 mm Components of the SpecUP Cuvette LDR 110-240 mm Components of the SpecUP Two modes of operation…. 1. Coloured LED with no diffraction grating Solution colour LED colour Green Red Blue or purple Yellow Red Green Yellow or orange Blue Table 1: LEDs to use for different colour solutions. Two modes of operation…. 2. White LED with diffraction grating & manual adjustment Colour observed Wavelength Range (nm) Mean wavelength (nm) Violet 400-430 410 Blue 430-490 470 Green 490-570 520 Yellow 570-595 580 Orange 595-650 610 Red 650-700 650 Table 2: Wavelengths of colours. Alternatively a colour chart can be used, for example: http://www.colour.org.uk/spectrum_chart%201.jpg Cost of the SpecUP: • Main cost components of the SpecUP are the: • Aluminium plate • Batteries • Multi-meter • Circuit board Applications Absorbance calibration & Beer Lambert Law • Molar absorption coefficient is determined from the slope of line of concentration vs A for standard solutions • Then determine concentration of unknown samples Calibration plot of absorbance versus concentration for solutions of KMnO4 (Tavener & Thomas-Oates, 2007) SpecUP results Green food colourant SpecUP results Red food colourant SpecUP results: Construction of a spectrum KMnO4 solution Vzero, Vwater & Vsample must be measured at each wavelength to calculate absorbance Or spectrum obtained using coloured LEDs KMnO4 (2.09x10-3 M) Colour LED Wavelength (nm) Absorbance Blue 470 0.21 Green 520 1.02 Yellow 580 0.45 Red 650 0.20 Reaction kinetics…the iodine clock reaction • In the first step, iodine is generated from the iodide ion by reaction with persulphate 2 I− + S2O82− → I2 + 2 SO42− (1) • In the second step, the iodine reacts with thiosulphate I2 + 2 S2O32− → 2 I− + S4O62− (2) • Yellow colour of iodine is detected using blue LED rate k[S2O8 ][ I ] Additional applications Determination of metal ion concentrations • Environmental chemistry applications (waste water testing) • Based on absorption of coloured metal complexes • Suitable wavelength LEDs are employed • Interference effects can be studied Hauser, P.C., and Rupasinghe, T.W.T., 1997, Fresenius J. Anal. Chem., 357, 1056-1060. Concepts to be covered in all experiments: • Resolution (eg: relationship between slit width and spatial resolution) • Sensitivity (eg: relationship between slit width and spectral intensity) • Selectivity (eg: differences between diffraction orders) • Accuracy (comparison to commercial instruments) • Precision and repeatability • Limitations and sources of error Results of repeatability experiment: Educational outcomes include: • Hands-on experience wrt workings of the instrument & its components (including setup and adjustment) • Experience with calibrating the instrument • Understanding of relationship between absorption of light & concentration • Understanding of analytical concepts of resolution; selectivity; sensitivity; accuracy & precision • Specific outcomes for each application experiment Focus is on inquiry-based learning Conclusion Advantages of the SpecUP: • Low cost • Simple to construct • Open design • Moving components • Generates useable analytical results • Allows for inquiry-based learning Implementation of the SpecUP Workshop at UP, November 2013 Workshops in Tunisia, March 2014 & 2015 Implementation of the SpecUP in the Analytical Chemistry III course at UP • • • • Forty students Work in groups of 3 students Mix of commercial spectrophotometer & SpecUP Some limitations identified and improvements made Patricia B.C. Forbes and Johan A. Nöthling, Shedding light on spectrophotometry: the SpecUP educational spectrophotometer, South African Journal of Science, 2014, 110 (1/2), 1-5, http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/sajs.2014/20130096 Questionnaires Before SpecUP use Q5: Have you ever used a commercial spectrophotometer? Q6: Have you ever used the SpecUP spectrophotometer? Q7: Have you been taught the theoretical aspects of spectrophotometry in lectures? Before SpecUP use Q3: Spectrophotometers do not have moving components. Q5: The only thing that is needed to be done to obtain a result from a spectrophotometer is to place the sample cuvette inside the instrument. Q9: I would recommend that all chemistry students get hands-on experience with spectrophotometers. After SpecUP use Q2: The SpecUP helped me to understand spectrophotometry. Q3: I enjoyed moving the components of the SpecUP to see the effect it had on the results. Q5: The SpecUP made me think about how a spectrophotometer works. Acknowledgements • CSIR National Laser Centre & the African Laser Centre • Dr Paul Motalane • Prof. Andrew Forbes • Thomas du Plooy • Prof Mourad Zghal • Leon Engelbrecht, Nico Van Vuuren (University of Pretoria) • Phakama Botha • Monné van der Linde • Prof. Thomas-Oates (University of York) ChromSAAMS 2012 Conference, South Africa Thank you!