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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 7 Issue 6 (2002) pp 371-375

Construction and Evaluation of a LEGO Spectrophotometer for Student Use

Kevin Knagge and Daniel Raftery*

H. C. Brown Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907,
Received April 9, 2002. Accepted September 15, 2002

Published online: 10 October 2002

Abstract. A simple visible-wavelength spectrophotometer has been constructed for educational purposes. The spectrophotometer contains simple, inexpensive components students can easily work with (small flashlight bulbs, batteries, etc.) and uses LEGO pieces for construction of the optical support elements. The spectrophotometer was designed to give students hands-on experience with typical spectrophotometer modules so that they may understand the important stages in the design of a scientific instrument. The spectrophotometer was characterized by examining an absorption spectrum and calibration curves of potassium permanganate.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; instrumental analysis; UV-Vis

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: December 1, 2002

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