PASCO Spectrometer: Quick Start


Hi. This is Tom Loschiavo,
Chemistry Education Manager at PASCO scientific, and I am here today to introduce the PASCO
Spectrometer. This is a visible spectrometer, and you’ll notice from the box
that there’s a cuvette holder. The labels indicate the light sources
that can illuminate your sample. There’s a label over here
indicating where the detector is. It can work via USB, via Bluetooth,
and there’s a power indicator. On the side, there’s a USB port and a power
button. I’ve already turned the spectrometer on, and I’ve connected it via Bluetooth to an iPad. I did that through the Bluetooth settings
using the spectrometer ID number, similar to the way we pair SPARKlink Airs
and AirLink2s. Once I start the Spectrometry software on
the iPad, then it’ll also ask me to pair the spectrometer. I’ll do that the first time, again,
using the ID number on the back. After I do that the first time, it’ll recognize
the spectrometer and it’ll pair by itself. Let’s dive in a little bit and see
how we can use the spectrometer. If you look at the Spectrometry software, you can analyze lights, you can analyze solutions, and you can do concentration and time analysis
studies. To analyze lights, we’re going to use the
optional fiber optic accessory. One end of the fiber optic accessory
you’re going to point at a light source. In this case, I’m going to use some
gas emission discharge tubes, and I’m going to use a clamp to hold it steady. The other end of the fiber optic accessory
goes into the spectrometer, and the arrows are going to be
pointing towards the detector. That tells you how to line up the cuvette. I’ll put this in. It’s a very snug fit so it doesn’t wobble
around when you’re doing your analysis. I’m going to simply turn on my light source, make sure everything is lined up nicely, and hit Start. I’ll start recording my data. You’ll notice a very tiny peak on here right
now. It’s because not enough light is getting in. I can Auto Set the integration time to allow the maximum amount of light in
while minimizing the amount of noise. The software does that for you. It will determine the best integration time, and it’ll give you a progress bar
to indicate how far along that process is. After that process is complete,
you’ll see more peaks on your spectrum. You can autoscale that, and there’s our hydrogen emission spectrum. I’m going to stop this and put another tube
in, just to show you something. I’m going to replace my hydrogen spectral
tube with helium. Both of these are very common, quick activities
for physics and chemistry classes. I’m going to hit Start again. Integration time should be pretty good,
based on the hydrogen. Now we have a different set of peaks,
based on the different emission lines for helium. I’m going to stop. The software is built for you to do some comparison
and analysis. I can touch down here, and I can overlay
the two emission spectra on top of each other. Or, if I’m looking at one of the spectral
emission graphs, I can put some reference lines on there and see how well that matched up
with what I expect to happen for helium. There we have the expected peaks
and the experimental peaks, and they’re very close to each other,
actually within a couple of percentage points. So that’s analyzing light. The other common use for the spectrometer
is going to be to analyze colored solutions, like we have
here. The first thing we’re going to do is
we’re going to go to the Analyze Solution page, so we can get a full spectrum of a colored
solution. Before I do anything, I’m going to need
to blank the spectrometer. I’m going to take the cuvette containing my
solvent. I’m going to put it in so that the clear sides
are facing the detector and the light source. Again it’ll be a nice, snug fit. I’m going to Calibrate Dark, meaning that the light in the spectrometer will be turned off, and I’m going to Calibrate Light, meaning that the light in the spectrometer is now turned
on. It’ll go through a calibration procedure,
again determining an integration time and setting the best calibration for you
based on the solvent that you have. If I hit Start right now, then I should see an absorbance of zero,
because I have successfully blanked this solvent. Now if I put some solutions in there
where there are colored solutes, we should see a difference in the spectrum. I’m going to wipe down my cuvettes
to make sure there’s no smudges, and there’s a nickel(II) nitrate spectrum. I’ll stop that, and we’ll put another one in, and start. Here is crystal violet. If you want to do more studies,
which we’ll show you in later videos, like concentration and time experiments, then you’re going to want to set a wavelength
to do those studies. To do that, you’re going to use the Coordinate
Tool. There’s a tip over here in the tools section to use the Coordinate Tool to set the solution’s wavelength. I’m going to touch the Coordinate Tool. The tool comes up. I’m going to drag it over to the area of the
curve that I want to do my analysis on, typically the highest absorbance, and I’m going to hit the Check button. Now I have a line indicating that that’s where I’m going to do my analysis of the crystal violet, in this case. I’m going to stop. The other nice thing that you can do with
solutions, without getting into Beer’s Law and Kinetics, is you can do fluorescence very quickly and
easily. The spectrometer itself has two LEDs for fluorescence: a 405 nm excitation wavelength and a 500 nm excitation wavelength for the fluorescence. If I go to the Fluorescence tab, it will turn on the light in the spectrometer simply by going to the tab. I’m going to put a fluorescing sample in here. I’m going to hit Start. My integration time was already pretty high. If it wasn’t high enough, I could do Auto
Set integration time again. It’ll find the best integration time. A neat thing to show is that if I take the
sample out, you can actually see the intensity of
the excitation LED at 405 nanometers. When I put that back in, then you can see that that peak goes away
because all that energy’s getting absorbed. Now the sample is fluorescing in the 550 nm
range. We have nice, simple tools.
It’s very easy to get at the analysis to do experiments analyzing light and analyzing
solutions using the fiber optic accessory and some cuvettes. Later on, we can talk about how you can do some Beer’s Law and Kinetics studies using the PASCO Spectrometer. Thank you very much.
This has been Tom Loschiavo. If you have any questions or comments,
let me know at [email protected]

4 thoughts on “PASCO Spectrometer: Quick Start

  1. Hi! Can you make a video how to configure the spectrometer software/sparkvue in performing Chlorophyll analysis? Thank you so much!

    -John

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