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I need some guide about spectrometers

I saw a lot of DIY spectrometers to analyze light.

Does anyone try to use those DIY spectrometers to analyze water? To detect heavy metals? or a chemical? or any pollutant in the water?

In theory, a spectrometer can detect chemical, biological components and a lot of other things (I have no idea about the technical part)

My question is, making this homemade spectrometer using a webcam, is enough to detect heavy metals in the water ?

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    $\begingroup$ No really. UV-Vis doesn't have much specificity. In order to use UV-Vis you'd have to first isolate each metal then do an analysis. Also UV-Vis isn't extremely sensitive. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Mar 7 '17 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ It seems that.. these guys made it, but there is not much info about it creative-technology.net/CTECH/Water_Canary.html $\endgroup$ – Leo Zurick Mar 8 '17 at 0:50
  • $\begingroup$ I've seen a number of these sorts of Vis spectrometers made. I've collected UV fluorescent rocks. Several folks were offering a spectrometer unit that hooked into a PC. // The unit that Leo linked tests for "pathogens" not metal ions. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Mar 8 '17 at 1:23
  • $\begingroup$ the main goal is to find a cheap way to detect contaminants in the water, given those limitations.... what kind of contaminant can I detect using a spectrometer made from a webcam and an old DVD. I don't want to measure it, i just need to know if there is something harmful in the water, I know is not a simple task $\endgroup$ – Leo Zurick Mar 8 '17 at 1:32
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    $\begingroup$ The phrase in your last comment,"I don't want to measure it, i just need to know if there is something harmful" is a key part of any analytical problem, and the root of much misunderstanding in that whatever you are measuring, there is almost certainly some of it there. A cup of the purest water will contain billions of Pb molecules. But because there are a trillion, trillion, trillion water molecules in that cup, the lead concentration is too low to measure, or cause harm. So one aspect of designing any analysis is defining how little you need to be able to see, aka the detection limit. $\endgroup$ – airhuff Mar 8 '17 at 2:27

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