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Polarization Demodulation: A New Approach to the Reduction of Polarization Artifacts from Vibrational Circular Dichroism Spectra

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In vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) measurements and other polarization modulation techniques, artifact signals often arise due to polarization sensitivity of the optical components located subsequent to the sample. In this paper, we describe a method for demodulating the light beam after passage through the sample in such a manner that only one linearly polarized state is allowed to reach the detector, thus eliminating these artifacts. The method is a beam reversal technique in which the light subsequent to the sample is redirected through the photoelastic modulator in such a way that the retardation produced on the first traversal through the modulator is removed. The light is returned to its original state of linear polarization prior to detection. The method is applicable to Fourier transform as well as to dispersive spectrometers since demodulation is effected for all wavelengths simultaneously. The results of preliminary demodulation experiments are presented and found to be more than 90% efficient in removing circular dichroism intensity of a birefringent origin.

Keywords: Photoelastic modulators; Polarization modulation techniques; Vibrational circular dichroism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1366/0003702824639484

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13210 2: Nicolet Instrument Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin 53711

Publication date: September 1, 1982

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