SmartFluo: A Method and Affordable Adapter to Measure Chlorophyll a Fluorescence with Smartphones

Anna Friedrichs, Julia Busch, H.J. van der Woerd, Oliver Zielinski

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

175 Downloads (Pure)


In order to increase the monitoring capabilities of inland and coastal waters, there is a need
for new, affordable, sensitive and mobile instruments that could be operated semi-automatically in
the field. This paper presents a prototype device to measure chlorophyll a fluorescence: the SmartFluo.
The device is a combination of a smartphone offering an intuitive operation interface and an adapter
implying a cuvette holder, as well as a suitable illumination source. SmartFluo is based on stimulated
fluorescence of water constituents such as chlorophyll a. The red band of the digital smartphone
camera is sensitive enough to detect quantitatively the characteristic red fluorescence emission.
The adapter contains a light source, a strong light emitting diode and additional filters to enhance
the signal-to-noise ratio and to suppress the impact of scattering. A novel algorithm utilizing
the red band of the camera is provided. Laboratory experiments of the SmartFluo show a linear
correlation (R2 = 0.98) to the chlorophyll a concentrations measured by reference instruments, such
as a high-performance benchtop laboratory fluorometer (LS 55, PerkinElmer).
Original languageEnglish
Article number678
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2017


  • citizen science
  • marine environment
  • open laboratory ware


Dive into the research topics of 'SmartFluo: A Method and Affordable Adapter to Measure Chlorophyll a Fluorescence with Smartphones'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this