Musser, Joseph Alan (2006-12). Novel instrumentation for a scattering independent measurement of the absorption coefficient of natural waters, and a new diffuse reflector for spectroscopic instrumentation and close cavity coupling. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • We report results for the development of a flow-through integrated cavity absorption meter (ICAM.) Absorption measurements have been made with 2% or less change in the signal in the presence of up to 10 m-1 of scattering in the medium. The operating range of the ICAM ranges from 0.004 m-1 to over 40 m-1 of absorption. This range allows one to use a single instrument to measure the absorption from sediment laden rivers out to the cleanest of ocean waters. Further, the ICAM signal has been shown to be independent of the flow rate and turbulence in the medium. In addition we report the development of a diffuse reflector which, to our best knowledge, has the highest measured diffuse reflectivity of 0.998 at 532 nm and 0.996 at 266 nm. We also show that the average distance a photon travels between successive reflections in an integrating cavity of arbitrary shape is four times the volume divided by the surface area, 4 V/S. Further, for a cavity which is formed by planes tangent to an inscribed sphere and which maintains a homogeneous and isotropic field, the average distance traveled by a photon between successive reflections is equal to 4 V/S of the inscribed sphere. Thus, each cavity has the same ratio of V/S as the inscribed sphere. These advances lead to an increase in the sensitivity of absorption spectroscopy. The sensitivity approaches that of cavity ring down spectroscopy (CARS), without the adverse scattering effects traditionally associated with CARS.

publication date

  • December 2006