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Appl Opt. 1982 May 1;21(9):1654-62. doi: 10.1364/AO.21.001654.

Thermooptic-based differential measurements of weak solute absorptions with an interferometer.

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University of California, Los Alamos National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1663, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA.


An interferometric method of measuring small differences between weak optical absorptions of solutions has been developed using the thermooptic effect. To record the small changes in optical path length ~lambda/200 due to heating, it was necessary to stabilize the fringe pattern with respect to slow thermal drift using a galvanometer-driven compensator plate controlled by a closed feedback loop. Fringe shifts from background absorptions were nulled out to better than 1 part in 400, permitting the measurement of differences in absorptions between two solutions that were l/100th of background. Using laser powers of 100 mW, absorptions approximately 5 x 10(-6) cm(-1) (base e) could be measured with CC1(4) solutions.

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