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Journal of Automated Methods and Management in Chemistry
Volume 25 (2003), Issue 2, Pages 35-42

Monte Carlo simulation for the prediction of precision of absorbance measurements with a miniature CCD spectrometer

Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Athens , University Campus, Athens GR-157 71, Greece

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The precision characteristics of the absorbance measurements obtained with a low-cost miniature spectrometer incorporating an array detector were evaluated. Uncertainties in absorbance measurements were due to a combination of non-uniform light intensity and detector response over the wavelength range examined (350-850 nm), in conjunction with the digitization of the intensity indications and the intrinsic noise of the detecting elements. The precision characteristics are presented as contour plots displaying the expected RSD% of absorbances on the absorbance versus wavelength plane. The minimum RSD% for the spectrometer configuration tested was observed within the 0.2-1.5 absorbance units and 500-750 nm wavelength range. Without invoking signal enhancement features of the data-acquisition program (scan average, higher integration times, smoothing based on averaging the signal detected by adjacent pixels), the attainable precision within this range was 0.4-0.8%. A computer program based on Monte Carlo simulations was developed for the prediction of absorbance precision characteristics under various conditions of measurements.