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We report here the working of a compact and handheld smartphone-based pH sensor for monitoring of ground and river water quality. Using simple laboratory optical components and the camera of the smartphone, we develop a compact spectrophotometer which is operational in the wavelength range of 400-700 nm and having spectral resolution of 0.305 nm/pixel for our equipment. The sensor measures variations in optical absorption band of pH sensitive dye sample in different pH solutions. The transmission image spectra through a transmission grating gets captured by the smartphone, and subsequently converted into intensity vs. wavelengths. Using the designed sensor, we measure water quality of ground water and river water from different locations in Assam and the results are found to be reliable when compared with the standard spectrophotometer tool. The overall cost involved for development of the sensor is relatively low. We envision that the designed sensing technique could emerge as an inexpensive, compact and portable pH sensor that would be useful for in-field applications.


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