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Etched Wire Screens as Variable Light Attenuators

Volume 18, Number 6 (Nov. 1964) Page 187-188

Low, M.J.D.


In the course of infrared studies on dense materials with double-beam instruments, it is frequently necessary to attenuate the reference beam in order to be able to record the spectrum. Also, in some studies, particularly with the interaction of gas with a solid, the sample transmission can vary with experimental conditions, so that continual adjustment of reference beam intensity must be made. Such adjustments are very inconvenient to make with wire mesh screens or slotted shutters because these produce a step-by-step attenuation. Continuous attenuation is desirable for such purposes. Some continuously-variable attenuators made of tilting vanes (1) or wire screens (2) have been described. Such devices are useful but have the disadvantages of large size and non-linearity of attenuation. The rotary motion must be controlled precisely and, because of the rotation of such a device, a substantial fraction of the reference beam space is taken up so that large compensating cells cannot be accommodated.