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We have demonstrated the application of broadband absorption spectroscopy in a liquid-core optical ring resonator. An initial proof of concept of the broadband liquid-core optical ring resonator (BLCORR) was constructed using a thinned-wall, 250-μm-inner-diameter fused silica capillary,
tapered multimode optical fibers for input and output coupling, and a light-emitting diode (LED) source. When compared with standard cuvette measurements, an apparent path length as high as 5 cm was observed for methylene blue (MB). MB is a cationic dye that exhibits strong surface interaction
with bare silica. Bromothymol blue (BTB), on the other hand, has a similar absorbance spectrum but does not share this same surface activity. On comparing these two dyes, the apparent path length for MB was found to reach more than 50 times that of BTB, confirming the expectation that the
sensing region being probed is largely within the evanescent field at the inner surface of the capillary. The BLCORR may also inherit, from attenuated total reflection (ATR) spectroscopy, the ability to analyze highly concentrated chromophores. Concentrations of BTB as high as 10−2
and 10−3 M were easily distinguished from each other at the λmax in the BLCORR, whereas this was not the case in a 4-mm cuvette cell. Our presented device employs commercially available materials and could incorporate well into microfluidic systems. These
benefits, along with the demonstrated ability to take enhanced surface absorbance measurements in a capillary, give the BLCORR potential in a variety of applications.
Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98125-1700
Publication date: October 1, 2011
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The Society publishes the internationally recognized, peer reviewed journal, Applied Spectroscopy, which is available both in print and online. Subscriptions are included with membership or can be purchased by institutional or corporate organizations. Abstracts may be viewed free of charge. Previously published as Bulletin (Society for Applied Spectroscopy)