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Rev Sci Instrum. 2010 Apr;81(4):043104. doi: 10.1063/1.3340892.

Broadband femtosecond circular dichroism spectrometer with white-light polarization control.

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Eugene F. Merkert Chemistry Center, Boston College, 2609 Beacon St., Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467, USA.


A broadband, femtosecond transient circular dichroism (TRCD) spectrometer has been developed and tested in the wavelength range from 350 to 700 nm. The spectrometer uses a femtosecond probe white light with well-defined circular polarization. The latter is modulated by the polarization of a narrowband seed pulse. We have implemented a dual-beam probe geometry with phase-locked detection technique to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and to reduce optical artifacts. The spectrometer allows the acquisition of TRCD spectra with subpicosecond time resolution and typical noise levels of 10(-4) absorbance units. The performance of this instrument has been demonstrated on bis(merocyanine) nanorod aggregates in tetrahydrofurane/methylcyclohexane solution. The case study confirmed that this spectrometer is effective for the investigation of chiral properties in various molecular and nanostructural systems that have transient spectra in the UV-visible spectral range.

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