Question: Questions about DIY spectrometer and e-liquid ingredients

nickha is asking a question about spectrometer: Subscribe to answer questions on this topic

nickha asked on June 07, 2014 18:59
58 views | 1 answers | #10537


What I want to do

I would like to know if the DIY spectrometer is capable of giving me an idea of ingredients in a sample of e-liquid (used in e-cigarettes).

My attempt and results

I've constructed the foldable spectrometer and I have tried to calibrate it. However, I'm not sure if I'm getting an accurate read out. I've been using it on my Samsung Galaxy S3. The problem seems to be the orientation of the bands and light leaking into the chamber.

Questions and next steps

I want to know more about the ingredients of this particular e-liquid. There are a lot of overlapping compounds in the flavoring extracts but I feel that if I could determine if certain ingredients were present that I could eliminate or confirm possible options.

Why I'm interested

I find analysis of this nature fascinating. Also, the particular e-liquid I am interested in is notoriously difficult to obtain. I have reverse engineered one of the flavors from the same vendor but this one is much more complex. I simply want to be able to make this substance and not deal with the perils of trying to find it.

On a side note, I am a software engineer and I would open to looking at the spectral workbench software if there is something I can help with. Like many disciplines, software has many sub categories so if there is something I'm knowledgeable about which needs some help I would be willing.



3 Comments

Hi, nickha - very interesting! Sorry for the slow reply --

The problem seems to be the orientation of the bands and light leaking into the chamber.

Can you upload an image so we can see your setup?

I can imagine scanning a few different e-liquids and perhaps common ingredients and dyes, then comparing. What are you using as a light source?

open to looking at the spectral workbench software if there is something I can help with

Very much so! We are really in need of some code being ported into macros, so it can be run within Spectral Workbench. There are also a variety of issues listed which we're only very slowly making progress through. Anywhere you can help would be deeply appreciated!

https://github.com/jywarren/spectral-workbench/issues?page=1&state=open

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Can you upload an image so we can see your setup?

It turns out that my dogs got a hold of the foldable one I made before; I'll have to make another one or buy one of the kits. In the mean time, I can show you the images I took trying to calibrate the foldable one. You'll see in two of the pictures there is (what I assume to be) light from the bulb I was calibrating with. Also, I rotated the grating for two of the pictures to see how the position would affect how samples would come out. http://imgur.com/a/L2zOm#0

I can imagine scanning a few different e-liquids and perhaps common ingredients and dyes, then comparing.

That is a good idea

What are you using as a light source?

I have a lamp without a shade currently. I was using it to calibrate but I didn't get past that point. If you have any suggestions for configurations of common household lights or lights that I could purchase I would be interested to hear them.

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