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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 37, Iss. 24 — Aug. 20, 1998
  • pp: 5640–5646

Bubble chamber as a trace chemical detector

Xin Luo, Edward Iain McCreary, Jerry H. Atencio, Andy W. McCown, and Robert K. Sander  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 37, Issue 24, pp. 5640-5646 (1998)

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A novel concept for trace chemical analysis in liquids has been demonstrated. The technique utilizes light absorption in a superheated liquid. Although a superheated liquid is thermodynamically unstable, a high degree of superheating can be dynamically achieved for a short period of time. During this time the superheated liquid is extremely sensitive to boiling at nucleation sites produced by energy deposition. Observation of bubbles in the superheated liquid in some sense provides amplification of the initial energy deposition. Bubble chambers containing superheated liquids have been used to detect energetic particles; now a bubble chamber is used to detect a trace chemical in superheated liquid propane by observing bubble formation initiated by optical absorption. Crystal violet is used as a test case and can be detected at the subpart-per-1012 level by using a Nd:YAG laser. The mechanism for bubble formation and ideas for further improvement are discussed.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.0120) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology
(120.1880) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Detection
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology
(120.6810) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Thermal effects
(170.1580) Medical optics and biotechnology : Chemometrics

Original Manuscript: December 2, 1997
Published: August 20, 1998

Xin Luo, Edward Iain McCreary, Jerry H. Atencio, Andy W. McCown, and Robert K. Sander, "Bubble chamber as a trace chemical detector," Appl. Opt. 37, 5640-5646 (1998)

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