The Design and Construction of an Affordable Raman Spectrometer

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Florida Southern College
Raman spectroscopy is capable of identifying unknown substances in a fast and nondestructive manner and has found a wide range of uses, such as identifying hydrogen peroxidebased explosives, characterizing chocolate, and verifying gemstone identity. Commercial Raman spectrometers can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars and building a low cost version would enable more widespread adoption of this technique and make additional analytical applications feasible. Undergrad chemistry courses leave out how an instrument works in favor of teaching how to interpret the results unless special topics classes are offered. In industry, chemists are expected to do general maintenance and troubleshooting on all instruments present in the lab. Giving students the opportunity to handle equipment prior to a business setting allows for increased confidence. The basic parts have been assembled with the aid of a 3D printer. Preliminary results will be discussed as well as possible future uses of the project.
Honors Thesis Spring 2022
Raman spectroscopy, Three-dimensional printing, Undergraduates