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Performance and Application of a New Planar Array Infrared Spectrograph Operating in the Mid-Infrared (2000975 cm-1) Fingerprint Region

Volume 58, Number 6 (June 2004) Page 639-646

Pellerin, Christian; Snively, Christopher M.; Chase, D. Bruce; Rabolt, John F.

A no-moving-part planar array infrared spectrograph (PA-IR) equipped with a 256 × 256 mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) focal plane array has been designed and constructed. The performance of the instrument, whose frequency range extends from 2000-975 cm-1 , has been assessed in terms of resolution, bandwidth, and signal-to-noise ratio. The PA-IR spectrograph is able to record spectra with an 8.7 ms time resolution and has peak-to-peak noise levels as low as 2.4 × 10-4 A.U. As a demonstration of the potential of PA-IR, the dynamics of reorientation of a liquid crystalline sample exposed to a single electric field pulse has been studied. It was shown that PA-IR can be used for the simultaneous acquisition of two orthogonally polarized spectra. The advantages and limitations of PA-IR, step-scan Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and ultrarapid-scanning FT-IR for real-time studies of reversible and irreversible phenomena are thoroughly discussed.