Testing Plastics


We were advised to scan different types of polymers to better understand the device. Polymers are thin and have good reflectance, thus giving  good consistent output as it’s easily measurable. Scanning polymers is also convenient because it would be easy to scan on the FTIR Spectrometry machine in the lab in the Chemical Engineering faculty.

Materials we scanned:

  • Cellofaan (Cellophane)



  • PPS



  • PI (1)



  • PI (2)



  • PEI



  • PP (1)



  • PP (2)



We also scanned 47 times to check if the output will remain constant:




  1. Each of the polymers were scanned 3 times. From that we observed the following:
  • Looking at the different graphs from all the scans we can see differences in the graphs with different materials.
  • The three lines from the three scans correspond with each other, but most of the times one line does differ more. The line of result that differs mostly has the same shape but is moved up a  bit. It lags behind so to say.

2.  After scanning PP for 47 times, we found that:

  • The results have a very big fluctuation. it is a complete blur of lines. It seems like a very unreliable set of results.
  • When looking at the graph at a different size, the results make some sense.
  • You can see that the results of 2 different scans are the same material.

The next step’s to scan all of the above with the FTIR Spectrometry machine in the lab.

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Proposed SCiO Interface v1.0


Sneak Preview of the Proposed SCiO Interface:

The current interface of SCiO is not really user-friendly and attractive to use. It looks as if the developers had to priorotize mainly on the hardware and technique, but the interface is just as important in order to handle the SCiO device. Therefore, we have tried to optimize the interface by giving its own style which is partly inspired by the current one. We have also added more colors to make it clearer to distinguish between the different parts of the screen and the menus.

See below a preview of the proposed interface :

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Initial Testing


In order to understand the working of the device and to put it to use, we collected a range of different materials and scanned them.  They were:


1. Balsa Wood

2. A 10 cent coin

3. Paracetamol pill

4. Magnesium pill

5. A piece of fleece from a blanket


Testing the fleece with a regular head:

IMG-20151026-WA0030 IMG-20151026-WA0027

Testing the Paracetamol pill with the head for smaller items:

IMG-20151026-WA0029 IMG-20151026-WA0028

The Results on the App.:

  • Balsa Wood


  •  A 10 cent coin


  • Paracetamol pill


  • Magnesium pill


  •  Fleece ( Polyester)


After these tests were conducted, we were advised by Kaspar to select materials with a smoother surface as one of the objectives of this project was to use professional spectrometry lab equipment to compare its results with SCiO. The lab machine measures in the FTIR and it can be used to measure only samples with a thin, transparent and smooth surface.



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The Theory Behind NIR(S)


The theory of NIR, according to our wise friend Wikipedia is:

Near­infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a spectroscopic method that uses the near­infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum (from about 700 nm to 2500 nm). Typical applications include pharmaceutical, medical diagnostics (including blood sugar and pulse oximetry), food and agrochemical quality control, and combustion research, as well as research in functional neuroimaging, sports medicine & science, elite sports training, ergonomics, rehabilitation, neonatal research, brain computer interface, urology (bladder contraction), and neurology (neurovascular coupling).

Near­infrared spectroscopy is based on molecular overtone and combination vibrations.

Such transitions are forbidden by the selection rules of quantum mechanics. As a result, the molar absorptivity in the near­IR region is typically quite small. One advantage is that NIR can typically penetrate much farther into a sample than mid infrared radiation.

Near­infrared spectroscopy is, therefore, not a particularly sensitive technique, but it can be very useful in probing bulk material with little or no sample preparation.

The molecular overtone and combination bands seen in the near­IR are typically very broad, leading to complex spectra; it can be difficult to assign specific features to specific chemical components. Multivariate (multiple variables) calibration techniques (e.g., principal components analysis, partial least squares, or artificial neural networks) are often employed to extract the desired chemical information. Careful development of a set of calibration samples and application of multivariate calibration techniques is essential for near­infrared analytical methods.


The links below provide answers to the questions posted by users regarding the theory and the working of the device.

[1] https://dev.consumerphysics.com/forums/topic/does­scio-use­roman­spectroscopy/

[2] https://dev.consumerphysics.com/forums/topic/resolution­of­the-spectrometer/ )

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Infographic: How to use the SCiO Device

Infographic manual-01

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Existing Interface of the SCiO App


The app ( which can be used both on Apple and Android smartphones) has the following interface:



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There goes the SCiO!


The SCiO group is a sub-group in the Augmenting Prototype project which is a part of the Advanced Prototyping Minor at TU Delft.

This is what the project brief stated:

“We  received  an  early  prototype.  In  the  meantime,  this  team  will  use  a  larger  facility  at  chemical  engineering,  first  by  following  tutorials  and  then  exploring  the  opportunities  and  limitations  of  having  a  handhold,  connected  spectrometer.”

This was enough to take our head and heart away for wanting to be part of SCiO.

The four of us, HaiLong, Yas, Vincent and Devika found each other and started working to together while Adrie Kooijman & Kaspar  Jansen inspire and help us through this journey.

The very first day we received the prototype of our fabulous device.


It came with an illustrated manual on how it works:

man1 man2

man4 man3

man5 man6

The video below shoes how it works:

This is the device and its components:



In order to use the device you need to first go to the Consumerphysics website and activate your account which enables the use of the device.  You need to use the website to create a database and provide its attributes:

Website1 scio2     scio3

scio4     scio5


Next, install the SCiO application on your smartphone to start scanning :







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