Mobile Phone Spectrophotometer Experiments

Dr Katharine Hubbard

This protocol allows you to do surprisingly sophisticated at home ‘spectrophotometer’ experiments by turning your mobile phone into a colorimeter. I’m impressed by the quality of the data you can get using these methods, which allow students to do quantitative experiments at home. The protocol is based on this excellent video from Tommy Technetium, but I’ve tweaked the method a bit and suggested some other biological experiments that could be done in this way.

Link to experimental protocols (GoogleDoc)

The protocol relies on you downloading a colour picker app to a smart phone. You need an app that will report numerical RGB values, not just suggest paint colours for you! I use ColorPicker as an iPhone app, Android users are recommended to use ColorGrab.

Mobile phone colorimeter set up

My protocol relies on using 1 cm cuvettes that you would use in a spectrophotometer. I posted these out to…

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