Smartphone colorimeter, spectrophotometer, and microscope


Chromatiscope's mission is to provide advanced laboratory capabilities to high-school students in the most affordable way possible. We are a spin-off of UC Davis that is combining input from chemistry teachers and recent research to develop a low-cost device that converts any smartphone into a colorimeter, spectrophotometer, and microscope.


How It Works

Chromatiscope uses the smartphone's camera for the image sensor and the smartphone's screen for the user interface. The stand holds the phone and components necessary to conduct experiments. For example, inside the stand are light-emitting diodes, which are used as a light source for absorption and other experiments.


In 2015 a high-school teacher visited UC Davis asking for help. Her lab spectrometers were breaking, and it would be too expensive to replace them. A team of engineering students and researchers designed an all-­in-­one colorimeter, spectroscope, and microscope. Chromatiscope was founded to manufacture and support the device. Chromatiscope has won a number of awards, including second place (out of 70 companies) in the UC Davis Big Bang! Business Competition.

UC DAVIS Engineering
UC DAVIS Innovation


We are gathering input from high school chemistry teachers and others involved in education to help refine the device. We'd love to share the current prototype with you and get your thoughts! Please contact us.


Alex Godbout leads R&D at Chromatiscope. His work includes both development of the physical device using computer aided design, and creation of image-analysis software. His work background includes experience with robotics for STEM education, as well as statistical analysis and machine learning. He has received a number of awards related to programming and entrepreneurship, including a recent second place in the UC Davis CITRIS Mobile App Competition. He holds a BS in Biomedical Engineering from UC Davis.

Nicholas Dao leads manufacturing at Chromatiscope. Nick's experience includes 5 years as a lab technician for the USDA Agricultural Research Service, designing and developing laboratory protocols and experiments. He has a rich background in microbiology as well as experience tutoring younger people in STEM subjects. He holds a BS in Biomedical Engineering from UC Davis.

Mark Zarins has a background software product management and sales. His experienced includes developing new products, launching them, and growing the number of users. In his free time, he enjoys teaching STEM, including programming and robotics, to middle-school students. He holds a BA in Physics from Pomona College, and an MBA and master's degree in Computer Science from Cornell.


Please contact us and we'll get back to you quickly.

Davis, CA (USA)

(831) 801-3388