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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 45, Iss. 25 — Sep. 1, 2006
  • pp: 6477–6486

Real-time differential refractometry without interferometry at a sensitivity level of 10−6

Michael McClimans, Charles LaPlante, David Bonner, and Samir Bali  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 45, Issue 25, pp. 6477-6486 (2006)

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We present a refractometer based on the principle of total internal reflection that can sensitively record, in real time, the refractive index of fluids over a wide range of refractive indices. The device uses a divergent laser beam and a linear diode array, and has no mechanical or optical moving parts, enabling us to achieve the measurement of a refractive index at a sensitivity level of 10 6 . Our refractometer does not rely on interferometry, thus enabling the device to be compact, portable, and inexpensive. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a noninterferometric device that performs real-time differential refractometry with a sensitivity of better than 10 5 has been demonstrated in the literature. We show that our experimental results agree very well with Fresnel theory. We establish a theoretical limit on the sensitivity of this class of refractometers.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.4640) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical instruments
(120.5700) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Reflection
(120.5710) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Refraction
(170.3890) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics instrumentation
(260.6970) Physical optics : Total internal reflection
(290.3030) Scattering : Index measurements

Original Manuscript: June 23, 2005
Revised Manuscript: December 27, 2005
Manuscript Accepted: March 24, 2006

Virtual Issues
Vol. 1, Iss. 10 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Michael McClimans, Charles LaPlante, David Bonner, and Samir Bali, "Real-time differential refractometry without interferometry at a sensitivity level of 10-6," Appl. Opt. 45, 6477-6486 (2006)

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