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An Optimization of Detector-Noise-Limited Infrared Multiwavelength Determinations

Volume 39, Number 2 (April 1985) Page 253-256

Honigs, D.E.; Hieftje, G.M.; Hirschfeld, T.


The existence of optimal absorbance levels for absorption spectrophotometry is well known. The corresponding phenomenon in the multiwavelength measurements characteristic of correlation spectroscopy lends itself to a similar analysis. The resulting optimization equation is quite complex, but can be approximated for several simplified cases. For very similar absorbances among the set of used wavelengths, or for a situation where the absorbance multiplied by its weighting factor at a given wavelength is far greater than for all the others, the classical optimum at A = 0.434 still applies. For a uniform distribution of absorbance, the optimal maximum absorption is A = 0.868. The complex general case can be rearranged to calculate, given data at a given pathlength, what the optimal condition involves equal relative error in the largest and the smallest absorbance.