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Dual Source Fourier Transform Polarization Modulation Spectroscopy: An Improved Method for the Measurement of Circular and Linear Dichroism

Volume 58, Number 6 (June 2004) Page 647-654

Nafie, Laurence A.; Buijs, Henry; Rilling, Allan; Cao, Xiaolin; Dukor, Rina K.


It is shown that the use of two sources in a four-port interferometer equipped with cube-corner mirrors leads to increased signal-tonoise ratios in Fourier transform (FT-IR) circular and linear dichroism spectra. The output beam to the sample is a superposition of two interferograms, one from each source, having opposite Fourier phases. These two interferograms cancel one another to the degree that the two sources are matched in intensity. If the radiation from each of the two sources is first polarized orthogonally with respect to the other and passed through a polarization modulator before reaching the sample, the resulting polarization-modulation interferograms are out of Fourier phase and out of polarization-modulation phase. As a result, the polarization-modulation interferograms, due to circular or linear dichroism in the sample, from the two sources combine positively rather than negatively. An improvement in signal-to-noise ratio of up to two (or a factor of four in scan-time reduction for the same signal-to-noise ratio) compared to single source operation can be realized, while at the same time, the potential for saturation of the detector signal is significantly reduced due to the reduction in magnitude of the combined ordinary infrared transmission interferogram. Absorption and circular dichroism spectra from a dual-source FT-IR spectrometer are presented and analyzed.