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Comparative Study of Photovoltaic and Photoconductive Detection Methods for Liquid-Phase Photoionization

Volume 48, Number 9 (Sept. 1994) Page 1102-1110

Judge, John W.; McGuffin, Victoria L.


The photovoltaic method for the detection of liquid-phase photoionization in the absence of an applied electric field is compared to the traditional photoconductive method. Each system is characterized by means of signal and signal-to-noise ratio measurements with respect to laser pulse energy, applied voltage, electrode separation distance, solute concentration, and solvent composition. Although both techniques exhibit similar detection limits (1 × 10-7 M) for solutes in polar solvents such as methanol and water, the photovoltaic technique has a more extensive linear dynamic range (103). Moreover, this technique allows detection of solutes in ionic solutions with comparable detectability and linearity.