A portable, stable and precise laser differential refractometer
Review of Scientific Instruments
In this work, we present a portable laser differential refractometer with real-time detection and high precision based on the Snell's law and a 2f-2f optical design. The 2f-2f configuration solves a traditional position drifting problem of the laser beam and enhances the signal stability, where a small pinhole is illuminated by the laser light and imaged to the detector by lens placed in the middle between the detector and the pinhole. However, it also leads to a larger dimension of the
... sion of the instrument, limiting its applications and its sensitivity that is proportional to the optical path. Therefore, for a portable device on the basis of the 2f-2f design, a combination of a mirror and a lens was developed to minimize the optical path without affecting the 2f-2f design. Our simple and compact design reaches a resolution of 10 −6 refractive index units (RIU). Moreover, the dimension of such a modified differential refractometer is significantly reduced to be portable. Owing to its real-time detection speed and high precision, this newly developed refractometer is particularly attractive when it is used as an independent and ultra-sensitive detector in many research and industrial applications wherein there is a time-dependent concentration change, e.g., the concentration determination, quality control, and study of kinetic processes in solution, including adsorption, sedimentation, and dissolution, to name few but not limited.