OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 38, Iss. 7 — Mar. 1, 1999
  • pp: 1216–1223

Visible and near-ultraviolet absorption spectrum of liquid water

Ronald A. J. Litjens, Terence I. Quickenden, and Colin G. Freeman  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 7, pp. 1216-1223 (1999)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (299 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The optical absorption of pure liquid water in the 300–700-nm region has been measured by use of a long (1.5-m) path-length cell. The absorption spectrum coincides well with the edge of previous data in the 200–320-nm region and provides reliable data in the 320–420-nm region that has until now been a region of considerable unreliability. The data obtained for the 420–700-nm region agree quite well with the means of the existing literature in that well-studied region. The absorptions in the 550–700-nm region show evidence for the overtones and combination tones of the well-known OH stretching frequency at 3500 cm-1.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.7340) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Water
(300.1030) Spectroscopy : Absorption
(300.6540) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, ultraviolet
(300.6550) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, visible

Original Manuscript: July 27, 1998
Revised Manuscript: November 16, 1998
Published: March 1, 1999

Ronald A. J. Litjens, Terence I. Quickenden, and Colin G. Freeman, "Visible and near-ultraviolet absorption spectrum of liquid water," Appl. Opt. 38, 1216-1223 (1999)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. T. I. Quickenden, J. A. Irvin, “The ultraviolet absorption spectrum of liquid water,” J. Chem. Phys. 72, 4416–4428 (1980). [CrossRef]
  2. M. Ravisankar, A. T. Reghunath, K. Sathianandan, V. P. N. Nampoori, “Effect of dissolved NaCl, MgCl2, and Na2SO4 in seawater on the optical attenuation in the region from 430 to 630 nm,” Appl. Opt. 27, 3887–3894 (1988). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. L. P. Boivin, W. F. Davidson, R. S. Storey, D. Sinclair, E. D. Earle, “Determination of the attenuation coefficients of visible and ultraviolet radiation in heavy water,” Appl. Opt. 25, 877–882 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. A. C. Tam, C. K. N. Patel, “Optical absorptions of light and heavy water by laser optoacoustic spectroscopy,” Appl. Opt. 18, 3348–3358 (1979). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. M. R. Querry, P. G. Cary, R. C. Waring, “Split-pulse laser method for measuring attenuation coefficients of transparent liquids: application to deionized filtered water in the visible region,” Appl. Opt. 17, 3587–3592 (1978). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. M. Hass, J. W. Davisson, “Absorption coefficient of pure water at 488 and 541.5 nm by adiabatic laser calorimetry,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 67, 622–624 (1977). [CrossRef]
  7. K. F. Palmer, D. Williams, “Optical properties of water in the near infrared,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 64, 1107–1110 (1974). [CrossRef]
  8. G. M. Hale, M. R. Querry, “Optical constants of water in the 200-nm to 200-µm wavelength region,” Appl. Opt. 12, 555–563 (1973). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. H. Larzul, F. Gélébart, A. Johannin-Gilles, “Sur le spectre d’absorption de l’eau et de l’eau lourde dans l’ultraviolet,” C. R. Acad. Sci. 261, 4701–4704 (1965).
  10. S. A. Sullivan, “Experimental study of the absorption in distilled water, artificial sea water, and heavy water in the visible region of the spectrum,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 962–968 (1963). [CrossRef]
  11. N. P. Grundinkina, “Absorption of ultraviolet radiation by water,” Opt. Spektrosk. 1, 658–662 (1956).
  12. J. Lenoble, B. Saint-Guilly, “Sur l’absorption de rayonnement ultraviolet par l’eau distillée,” C. R. Acad. Sci. 240, 954–955 (1955).
  13. E. O. Hulburt, “Optics of distilled and natural water,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 35, 698–705 (1945). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. G. L. Clarke, H. R. James, “Laboratory analysis of the selective absorption of light by sea water,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 29, 43–55 (1939). [CrossRef]
  15. H. R. James, E. A. Birge, “A laboratory study of the absorption of light by lake waters,” Trans. Wis. Acad. Sci. Arts. Lett. 31, 1–153 (1938).
  16. L. H. Dawson, E. O. Hulburt, “The absorption of ultraviolet and visible light by water,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 24, 175–177 (1934). [CrossRef]
  17. C. D. Hodgman, “Transmission of ultraviolet radiation by water,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 23, 426–429 (1933). [CrossRef]
  18. E. Ganz, “Über das Absorptionsspektrum von Wasser, wässrigen Lösungen und Alkoholen zwischen 0.70–0.95 µ,” Ann. Phys. (Leipzig) 26, 331–348 (1936). [CrossRef]
  19. W. R. Sawyer, “The spectral absorption of light by pure water and Bay of Fundy water,” Contrib. Can. Biol. Fisheries 7, 75–89 (1931).
  20. E. O. Hulburt, “The penetration of ultraviolet light into pure water and sea water,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 17, 15–22 (1928). [CrossRef]
  21. J. R. Collins, “Change in the infrared absorption spectrum of water with temperature,” Phys. Rev. 26, 771–779 (1925). [CrossRef]
  22. W. H. Martin, “The relation between light-absorption and light-scattering for liquids,” J. Phys. Chem. 26, 471–476 (1922). [CrossRef]
  23. W. B. Pietenpol, “Selective absorption in the visible spectrum of Wisconsin lake waters,” Trans. Wis. Acad. Sci. Arts. Lett. 19, 562–593 (1918).
  24. O. Von Aufsess, “Die Farbe der Seen,” Ann. Phys. (Leipzig) 13, 678–711 (1904). [CrossRef]
  25. E. Aschkinass, “Absorptionsspectrum des Flussigen Wassers,” Ann. Phys. (Leipzig) 55, 401–431 (1895). [CrossRef]
  26. T. Ewan, “On the absorption spectra of dilute solutions,” Proc. R. Soc. London 57, 117–129 (1894). [CrossRef]
  27. G. Hüfner, E. Albrecht, “Ueber die Durchlässigkeit des Wassers für Licht von Verschiedener Wellenlänge,” Ann. Phys. Chem. 42, 1–17 (1891).
  28. T. I. Quickenden, J. A. Irvin, “A search for non-Čerenkov UV emission from liquid water irradiated with pulsed electrons,” J. Chem. Phys. 73, 3632–3634 (1980). [CrossRef]
  29. D. S. Gill, Department of Chemistry, Panjab University, Chandigarh 160014, India (personal communication, 1997).
  30. D. R. Lide, ed., CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 73rd ed., (CRC Press, Boca Raton Fla., 1992).
  31. W. S. Pegau, J. R. V. Zaneveld, “Temperature dependence of the absorption coefficient of pure water in the visible portion of the spectrum,” in Ocean Optics XII, J. S. Jaffe, ed., Proc. SPIE2258, 597–604 (1994). [CrossRef]
  32. T. I. Quickenden, C. F. Vernon, “Red luminescence from thermally excited vibrational overtones in H2O and D2O vapor,” J. Phys. Chem. 93, 6682–6686 (1989). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4 Fig. 5

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited