Cellphone converts into powerful chemical detector

Scientists from Texas A&M have developed an extension to an ordinary cellphone that makes it capable of detecting chemicals, drugs, biological molecules, and pathogens. The development is based on fluorescence spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy and uses the high-quality cameras found in modern cellphones. An inexpensive diode laser is used as a light source, oriented at right angles to the line connecting the sample and the camera. The advance is reported in Reviews of Scientific Instruments.