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Incorporation of a differential refractometer into a laser light‐scattering spectrometer

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2 Author(s)
Wu, Chi ; Department of Chemistry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N. T., Hong Kong ; Xia, Ke‐Qing

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A new differential refractometer, which mainly consists of a laser light source, a position‐sensitive detector, and a temperature‐controlled refractometer cuvette has recently been developed. In comparison with a conventional differential refractometer, it has a different optical design so that the effect of laser beam drift can be greatly reduced. In our design, a very small pinhole is illuminated by the laser light and the illuminated pinhole is imaged to the detector by a lens located in the middle between the detector and the pinhole in a 2f‐2f configuration. The cuvette is placed just before the lens. The pinhole, the cuvette, the lens, and the detector are mounted on a small optical rail. The refractometer can be easily incorporated into any laser light‐scattering spectrometer, in which the laser, the thermostat, and the computer are shared. This not only reduces the total cost (at least ten times cheaper than a commercial differential refractometer), but also enables us to measure the specific refractive index increment and the scattered light intensity under the identical experimental conditions, such as wavelength and temperature. This novel refractometer has a wide linear detection range (±0.035 RI units) with a resolution of 10-6 RI units, which is sufficient for determining the specific refractive index increment of most polymer solutions.

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Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:65 ,  Issue: 3 )