USE OF A SOLEIL-BABINET COMPENSATOR TO MEASURE RAMAN OPTICAL ACTIVITY SPECTRA

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1985

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Ohio State University

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A problem in measuring Raman optical activity (ROA) spectra has been the elimination of scattering artifacts which are present when the incident light is not perfectly circularly polarized. It has been shown that both the direction and the magnitude of the linearly polarized component should be nearly identical for both the left and the right senses of nearly circularly polarized light [1]. In the past, an electro-optic modulator (EOM) has been used to modulate the laser radiation between left and right circularly polarized states. Typically, this approach has involved a difficult and tedious allignment involving seven non-independent variables. In an effort to circumvent that procedure, we have recently used a Soleil-Babinet compensator to generate the circularly polarized light. The compensator, which behaves essentially as a variable quarter-wave plate, has two independent adjustments: rotation about the laser beam and translation of a crystalline quartz wedge across the laser beam. As the wedge is translated, the thickness of quartz through which the laser beam passes changes and thus alters the retardation. The compensator can be alligned in ten minutes to produce better circular polarization, with more direct control over the slight linear residual, than the EOM. Spectra measured with a diode array detector will be presented.

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[1] L. D. Barron and J. Vrbancich, J. Raman Spectroscopy, 15, 47 (1984).
Author Institution: Department of Chemistry, Syracuse University

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