Title: Studies in time-resolved optoacoustic spectroscopy
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099117/00001
 Material Information
Title: Studies in time-resolved optoacoustic spectroscopy
Physical Description: x, 156 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Voigtman, Edward George, 1949-
Copyright Date: 1979
Subject: Acoustic emission   ( lcsh )
Chemistry thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Chemistry -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by Edward G. Voigtman Jr.
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 150-155.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099117
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000087523
oclc - 05530168
notis - AAK2891


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I would like to acknowledge Dr. Martin Vala for his help and

encouragement throughout these exasperating experiments. His constant

optimism and enthusiasm were of incalculable value in seeing the

experiments through.

I would like to thank my wife Janiece Leach, whose love and

understanding were my only joy. Without her faith in me and her

personal sacrifices, nothing would have been accomplished.

I would also like to thank my fellow graduate students, Joe

Baiardo (who helped with the FFT subroutine translation), Bob Brittain,

Rodger Capps, and Dave Powell (who goaded me into lengthening the dye

laser cavity to effect tuning). Their fellowship was crucial to main-

taining my sanity in the face of unrelenting artifact production by

the TROAS apparatus. I would also like to thank Ed Whitehead for his

excellent machining and Rudy Strohschein for his expert glassblowing.

In addition, I would like to thank the staff of the departmental elec-

tronics shoo (Joe Miller, Russ Pierce, and Bill Wells) and Dr. J. D.

Winefordner, Jr.,for the loan of various necessary pieces of equipment

and laser dye. I also would like to thank Dr. J. Eyler for the loan of

Laser Dye 473.

The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.

Love's Labor Lost



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . .... . . . ... .. ii

PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . iii

LIST OF TABLES. . . . . . . . .... . vi

LIST OF FIGURES . . . ... . . . . vii

ABSTRACT. . . .... .. ......... . .. ix

ONE INTRODUCTION. ......... . ........ 1


Introduction and Direction . . . . . .. 19
The Extended Solution of the Heat-Flow Model. .. .. 20
Excitation Source Selection . . . . . . 26
Sample Cell Construction. . . . .... . .. 27
Sample Selection. . . . . . . . . 32
Pressure Transducer Selection . . . . . .. 33
Pressure Transducer Electronics . . . . . 38


The Dye Laser System . . . . 41
Sample Cells and the Vacuum System. . . . . 47
Pressure Transducers and their Associated
Electronics . .. .... ...... 56
Pressure Transducer Electronics . . ... ..... 61
Microcomputer Interface Electronics . . . .. 64
The Microcomputer System. . . . ... ...... 67

FOUR SAMPLE SELECTION. . .. . . . . . 69


SIX RESULTS . ..... . ... .. . . 108



ONE RELEVANT OAS RESULTS . . . . . . . 126




REFERENCES . . . . . .. . . . . 150

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . . 156



1 A comparison of light sources considered for use
in TROAS experiments . . . . . . .... 28

2 Pressure transducers which may be used in TROAS
experiments. . . . . . . . .... 35

3 Capacitance microphones considered for use in
TROAS experiments. . . . . . .. .. . 36

4 Performance characteristics of the Candela dye
laser system . . . . . . . . . 46

5 Sample cells. . . . ... . . . . .. 48

6 Capacitance microphone comparison . . . .... 60

7 Relevant triplet properties of the compounds studied
by triplet TROAS . . . . . . . ... .72

8 A summary of the TROAS experiments performed. .... . 78

9 Peripheral systems memory locations . ... ..... .. 148



1 Electronic states and rate constants typically of
importance in the photophysics of polyatomic
molecules . . . . . . . . ... . 7

2 The idealized TROAS spectrum resulting from direct
triplet excitation. . . . ... . . 12

3 Schematic representation of a typical TROAS
apparatus .... . . . . ... . 14

4 Schematic representation of a versatile OAS apparatus
with dye laser excitation . . . . .... .17

5 Optocoupled trigger circuit for the Candela dye
laser . . . . . . . . . . . 44

6 TROAS sample cell number 2 . . . ..... .. . 51

7 TROAS sample cell number 3 .. . . .. . . 53

8 TROAS sample cell number 4 . . . ... . 55

9 TROAS sample cell number 7 . . . . .58

10 Pressure transducer impedance conversion circuit . 53

11 Schematic representation of the microcomputer inter-
face system and electronic subsystems used in the
TROAS experiments . . . . . . ..... 66

12 Structures of the sample substances used in the
TROAS experiments . . . . . . ... .74

13 The TROAS spectrum of dithione obtained with a Phase-R
DL-1200 dye laser, Rhodamine 6G due lasing broad-
band, and a capacitance electret microphone . . 82

14 The TROAS spectrum of dithione obtained with a Xe
flashlamp (unfiltered) and a capacitance
electret microphone . ........ . . .. 85

15 The TROAS spectra of naphthaline in helium (upper
trace) and in air (lower trace) . ....... 90

16 The TROAS spectrum of iodine at 25. C in air at
atmospheric pressure. . . . . . . ... 94

17 The TROAS spectrum of 9-bromoanthracene in air at
atmospheric pressure with the piezoelectric
transducer used to detect the signal. . . .. 96

18 An artifact TROAS spectrum obtained with air at 25. C
and atmospheric pressure in the sample cell . . 99

19 The output of a piezoelectric transducer directly
exposed to a laser light pulse of high intensity. 102

20 The TROAS spectrum obtained with an empty (10-4 torr)
cell .. .... . . . . . . . 110

21 A voltage preamplifier and externally polarized
capacitance microphone circuit. . . . . .. 136

22 The voltage preamplifier and externally polarized
capacitance microphone circuit of Figure 21 with
appropriate noise sources added . . . ... 138


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Edward G. Voigtman Jr.

March 1979

Chairman: Martin T. Vala
Major Department: Chemistry

The approach of time-resolved optoacoustic spectroscopy is applied

to the study of the radiationless decay processes of electronically

excited polyatomic molecules in the gas phase. The loss-free theory

of time-resolved optoacoustic spectroscopy (TROAS) is extended by the

addition of the two major model-independent energy loss mechanisms

(viscosity and thermal conductivity) so that acoustic mode amplitudes,

mode amplitude ratios, and noise equivalent power may be calculated

for TROAS experiments.

Restrictions on design of experimental apparatus imposed by the

theory of TROAS are considered, and the necessary properties of

experimental apparatus sufficient to yield TROAS spectra are deduced.

Limitations on sample selection are also considered and lead to the

decision to study the following compounds: biacetyl, naphthalene,

2-chloronaphthalene, anthracene, 1-chloroanthracene, 9-bromoanthracene,

iodine, nitrogen dioxide, and 2,2,4,4-tetramethyl-1,3-cyclobutanedi-

thione (dithione).

A microcomputer-based apparatus was designed and constructed in

concordance with the theoretical constraints imposed by the theory of

TROAS and numerous experiments were performed. The predicted pressure

rise was partially observed as were the predicted radial and longi-

tudinal acoustic modes, but no triplet yield information could be

obtained by direct triplet excitation of the sample compounds due to

the existence of irremovable, mimicking artifacts produced by the

sample cell upon exposure to the highly intense (5 megawatts maximum)

dye laser excitation source pulses. Additional experiments deter-

mined the nature of the four types of artifacts concomitant with

direct triplet excitation TROAS. The possibility of obtaining triplet

yield information by singlet excitation TROAS is examined and found to

afford excellent prospects for polyatomic molecules in the gas phase,

without interference from the mimicking artifacts of triplet TROAS.


The optoacoustic effect was discovered in 1880 by Bell [1] when

he observed that a great variety of substances emitted audible sounds

when exposed to periodically fluctuating illumination in their absorp-

tion regions. Bell's spectrophone was based on the observation that

the sound intensity was proportional to the sample's absorptivity.

He hoped it would find some use in absorption measurements, particularly

in the infrared region. Though a number of Bell's contemporaries

studied the effect [2-5], interest waned until 1938 when Veingerov [6]

rediscovered the effect and employed it in the study of IR absorption

by gases. Despite a few scattered uses [7-10] for such applications

as IR gas analysis, IR detection instrumentation, and microwave

detection, it was largely neglected until 1946 when Gorelik [11] noted

that the spectrophone could be used to measure the vibrational re-

laxation times of gases. Again the technique lay dormant until

Kaiser [12] and Delaney [13] in 1959 proposed a reaction kinetics-

based model for the optoacoustic effect. Also in 1959, Gerlovin [14]

applied the spectrophone technique in the visible and UV.

It will be useful for our later discussion to note the more im-

portant contributions to the development of the optoacoustic technique

over the last two decades. In 1963, White [15] observed that elastic

waves are produced in solids following absorption of pulsed light.

Several other investigators have made similar observations [16-17].


In 1967, Hey [18], using broadband illumination and the spectrophone

technique, measured the relaxation rates of dyes in solution. In

1969, Seybold et al. [19], using steady state illumination and a

capillary rise technique, made similar studies. Also in 1969, Callis

et al. [20], using broadband pulsed illumination and capacitance

microphone volume change detection, were able to determine triplet

yields of anthracene in ethanol. In 1971, Kreuzer [21] greatly im-

proved the spectrophone technique, as it applies to gas phase absorbance

measurements, by employing a laser as the illumination source. Since

then, the technique has found wide use in such applications as air

pollutant detection [22-24], in situ aerosol absorbance measurements

[25], and the study of photochemical reaction mechanisms in the gas

phase [26-27]. In 1977, Patel and Kerl [28] achieved absorptivities of

109 to 10 cm for the gas NO. Significantly increased sensitivi-

ties may also be achieved by placing the spectrophone inside a laser

cavity [29].

Since 1973, the gas phase optoacoustic effect has also been used

in the study of NO2 and SO2 [30], the quenching of iodine atoms by

oxygen [31], and in investigations of radiationless transitions in

biacetyl [32] and the azabenzenes [33]. The quenching of the first vi-

brational level of the lowest excited oxygen singlet has been studied

by Parker and Ritke [34-35]. Hunter and coworkers [36-37] have also

used the spectrophone technique in the study of electronically excited

benzene and biacetyl. These studies were significant for several

reasons. First, important information was obtained which would have

been difficult, if not impossible, to obtain by other techniques. Sec-

ondly, a variety of auxiliary techniques were developed and led to an

increase in the usefulness of the basic spectrophone. Among these were

lock-in amplifier signal detection, carrier-modulated pressure detectors,

and dual excitation source techniques [38].

The source of the heat in a simple (IR source) spectrophone experi-

ment is collisionally-induced vibrational to translational relaxation

[39]. For condensed phases the mechanism is substantially more complex.

In 1973, Parker [40] observed that the glass windows on his optoacoustic

sample cell generated an in-phase signal when illuminated even though

the gas in the cell (Ne, N2, 02) was transparent to the excitation

wavelengths used. With the aid of a thermal diffusion model of the

window and adjacent gas, he established that the signal he had observed

was produced by thermal diffusion from the window into an adjacent

boundary gas layer. At about this time, Rosencwaig and others, using

capacitance microphone detection, extended the spectrophone technique

to include solids, liquids, smears, gels, and biological materials

[41-43]. In 1976, Rosencwaig and Gersho [44] developed the "thermal

piston" model to explain the optoacoustic effect exhibited by condensed

phase materials. These authors suggested that diffusion of heat into

the surrounding gas (to a depth of the thermal diffusion length) causes

the boundary layer to fluctuate and thereby drive the remainder of the

gas. Hence,chopped source illumination could be expected to produce

fluctuations at the same frequency in the boundary layer. Comparison

of their theory with experimental results suggested that this was the

primary source of sounds produced by condensed phases. In 1978,

McDonald and Wetsel [45] extended the theory (the composite piston

model) by including the effect of the expansion and contraction of the

condensed phase. They proposed that the boundary layer was mechanically

driven, thereby generating sound. As noted previously, however,

elastic waves may also be produced in condensed phases by the absorption

of intensity-modulated light. These elastic waves may be detected

directly [46] using piezoelectric transducers. Thus,three mechanisms

have been proposed to account for the production of sounds by condensed

phases in "the" optoacoustic effect: the thermal piston model, the

mechanical piston model, and light-generated elastic waves.

With a few notable exceptions videe infra), recent work on the opto-

acoustic effect applied to chemical systems has dealt with the spectral

distribution of the released heat and not with the kinetics of the

release process. Work in this laboratory was begun a number of years

ago to develop a theory of time-resolved optoacoustic spectroscopy which

was capable of describing the kinetics of radiationless decay processes

(heat release) after electronic excitation in polyatomic molecules. The

theory was developed by Wrobel [47]. It was motivated by the need for

detailed information concerning nonradiative deactivation pathways in

electronically excited polyatomic molecules under approximately

collision-free conditions. In general, phosphorimetry and fluorimetry

are incapable of providing all the data necessary to obtain accurate

triplet yields, without which it is impossible to test the various

theories of radiationless processes in polyatomic molecules. Time-

resolved optoacoustic spectroscopy (TROAS) is intended to complement

these other techniques, particularly for species with low radiative

yields, and thereby lessen the need for the motley assortment of

ingenious methods which have been devised to furnish triplet yields



To understand the need for a complementary technique, it is helpful

to consider the various pathways of deactivation available to an elec-

tronically excited molecule. Irradiation of a molecule results in its

excitation from its ground state (So) to a vibrational level of some

excited singlet state, Sx. With few exceptions, rapid radiationless

relaxation ensues populating the lowest vibrational level (v = 0) of the

lowest excited singlet, S( (the superscript denotes vibrational level

and the subscript electronic state). Three deactivation processes may

now occur which depopulate SO (see Figure 1): fluorescence with a rate

kf, radiationless decay with a rate kS, and intersystem crossing to the

triplet with a rate klSC. The triplet vibrational level so populated

may relax directly to SO via radiationless decay with a rate kTv, or it
0 T1
may relax via rapid radiationless decay to T1 with a rate kTv,TO. Inter-
0 1
system crossing back to SO is negligible. Finally, TO may relax by

phosphorescence with a rate k or by radiationless decay with a rate kT.

Since decay directly from the vibrational manifold of T1 to SO is not

usually possible (Kasha's rule), kTv may be neglected. In addition,

vibrational relaxation in T1 is usually fast relative to kT and kp.

The five remaining rate constants (kf, ks, klSC, k kT) may be

used to define the fluorescence quantum yield f, the phosphorescence

quantum yield Dp, and the triplet yield t as follows:

4f = kf/k* where k = k kf + kISC is the observed

fluorescence rate,

*p = kp t/k* where k* = k + kT is the observed phosphorescence
p ~ ~ tpP T

rate, and

Figure 1. Electronic states and rate constants typically of im-
portance in the photophysics of polyatomic molecules.


x -

"1 k

/ k v 0
/ 1 1

kf I
I 'T
Ik kTv

Sh / /, / ,

S/ /

/ /


t = klSC/k*;

Thus,fluorimetry and phosphorimetry experiments yield the four quantities

D, f (kp ) the observed fluorescence lifetime, and (k*)- the ob-
served phosphorescence lifetime, but these are obviously insufficient

to determine the five rate constants noted above.

Clearly, then, another independent experimental quantity is nec-

essary. Although a number of techniques have been developed to meet

this need [48-56], each such technique possesses certain disadvantages

which prevent it from being a practical complementary technique to

fluorimetry and phosphorimetry. In fact, it is common to simply assume

kS is negligible (Kasha's intersystem crossing rule [57]), although there

is no unassailable basis for such an assumption. Consequently, it is

desirable to find a general technique which is easily capable of pro-

viding the requisite independent quantity and which preferably does so

by measurement of the radiationless rate constants. A clue as to the

nature of this desired technique is provided by noting that radiation-

less processes are accompanied by the release of heat. Therefore, the

general technique should ideally involve monitoring the heat released

during radiationless decay processes subsequent to excitation of the

sample. This is the basis of optoacoustic spectroscopy.

In 1974, Wrobel [47] developed the theory of gas phase optoacoustic

spectroscopy which was specifically designed to accommodate tunable

pulsed dye laser excitation of the electronic states of polyatomic

molecules. In this theory, the pressure fluctuations produced in the

sample vapor were determined from the conservation equations (mass,

momentum, and energy), the equation of state, and the rate equations

associated with a selected multielectronic state model (SO,T1 or

SOT S ). The fundamental result of TROAS (valid for the simple

So,T' model) is the following relation between the pressure fluctua-
tions expected to occur in the gas phase and the nonradiative rate


-( k)t
P1 )qOOn v [k Ok v TO h VTO (1 e ( )
u0,0 1 1'T T 1 T 1

(kTv+ kv 0 k*)(k*)
1 TTi p p

+ (kTv ,O h v ,0 / (k v 0+ kTv)
,'T1 T'Il t'T1 '

-(kTV TO+ kTv)t
kTO h O/ (kTv+kT k*))(1 -e 1' 1 1 )]
T1 1 T1 IT 'T1 p

where y is the heat capacity ratio, n v is the cell-averaged initial
number density of molecules excited into T, q0,0 is an expansion co-

efficient dependent on the model-specific heat source term, and POO
is the amplitude of the pressure rise expected to occur.

Normally, the vibrational relaxation rate kTv ,T is much larger
than the triplet deactivation rate k*. The above equation then

simplifies to

__O IC -(kv ,T0+k v)t
P',0 = (y-l)qon [ h TV .Tv (1 -e 1 1 )

IC ISC -k*t
+ DT Tv hv 0 (1 -e )]
I 1 1

where T v is the intersystem crossing yield kT/k*, and i v is the

internal conversion yield kTv ,O/(kTv TO +kTv). Thus, the expected
S1 1' '1 I
pressure rise is the sum of two exponentially rising components with

different amplitudes. Note, however, that kTv TO is much larger than
I' 1
k*. Hence, the pressure rise will appear to be a step rise with an
exponential rise building upon it. This situation is depicted in

Figure 2 [47]. If the amplitude of the slow rise is denoted p' and

that of the fast rise is denoted p%, then from Figure 2 the following

equation is obtained:

+TO = (hV v, TO/hvTO) ps/p
1l1 1 1

Since k* is obtained experimentally from the time constant of the slow
rise, the radiationless rate constant k- may be obtained directly and

independently of phosphorimetry and fluorimetry experiments. Unfortu-

nately, Wrobel [47] was not able to experimentally determine the

validity of this result,so additional experiments have proven necessary.

Figure 3 illustrates schematically the experimental setup of a

TROAS apparatus. A light pulse from a flashlamp-pumped tunable dye laser

passes through the cylindrical sample cell and strikes the laser energy

detector. Absorbed energy converted to heat via radiationless decay

processes heats the sample gas mixture (molecular vapor plus carrier

gas) producing a pressure jump and acoustic oscillations. These pres-

sure variations are converted to electrical signals by a sensitive

broadband pressure transducer. The electrical signals are amplified and

acquired by a microcomputer-controlled transient waveform recorder.

The microcomputer also synchronizes data acquisition by controlling


Lb Od
O'b A u i(-,) / ,d




IC a >
o /c

CIRD c"I 0v


In S. .
10. M
UU 1-
T- _r -i oai,
or i --- --- C S' c ---

f 0 ;ur ()i
fi ui 3a

a. S

5i s

i~ c3 I __I

iyi u

U3 u a i -
'/'~~ ~ ^__ E t- ----- 0
'7 i ~3 ~^ -- o 0 3 --- -s ^i
i-* _ U *" C
^~ o -i- u
i- c i-

i oa r -- i -

I l "0 (Ur CU\
I 01 I) r- !
a u/ r Q. C S
-1C = CT \ <
-3~ ~ 0 CT \ <1 -

laser firing, light pulse peak-detector reset, etc. It also performs

data processing tasks (such as Fast Fourier Transforms) and outputs

data to a chart recorder as necessary. The oscilloscope displays

acquired data prior to processing.

This experimental arrangement differs markedly from that of con-

ventional optoacoustic spectroscopy (OAS) as shown in Figure 4. The

excitation light source is usually a monochromator and Xe lamp combina-

tion with light modulation provided by a rotating slotted disk. Alter-

natively, a tunable continuous wave (CW) dye laser and either an

acousto-optic modulator or chopping wheel provides the requisite

modulated source intensity. In any event, the spectrum obtained must

be corrected for variations of source intensity as a function of source

wavelength. The second major difference between OAS and TROAS is the

use of a lock-in amplifier to amplify and detect the pressure trans-

ducer signal (after the preamplifier stage, of course). The resulting

extremely narrow equivalent noise bandwidth allows the use of OAS in the

detection of signals in extraordinarily dilute samples [28]. An

especially good collection of research papers concerning all relevant

aspects of OAS has recently been published [58].

In OAS, accurate waveform information is not necessary; in fact,

a lock-in amplifier provides only amplitude and phase shift information

in the usual case. This is adequate for sample detection purposes but

not well suited for the study of such processes as triplet deactivation

pathways. Further details concerning this use of OAS may be found in


The theory of TROAS was developed by Wrobel [47] and, therefore,

will not be repeated here, although Chapter Two concerns certain



o o-



CO 1.
I a-
0~ C.
I- 0


extensions and corrections to the loss-free theory. Chapter Three

describes the experimental apparatus used in this research. In

Chapter Four, the sample selection criteria developed in Chapter Two

are used to select promising polyatomic molecules for study. Chapter

Five details the numerous experimental arrangements and modifications

used. Chapter Six discusses the obtained results, and Chapter Seven

contains a discussion of singlet TROAS and its advantages.


Introduction and Direction

Several papers have appeared in which pulsed light sources were

combined with the optoacoustic effect in order to study various vibra-

tional and electronic state properties of polyatomic molecules. Al-

though the pulsed optoacoustic effect is certainly shown in the works

of Parker [34], Aoki and Katayama [59], and Grabiner et al. [60], the

interpretations provided are either of limited scope or unnecessarily

complex. The theory of TROAS is intended to bring together these

diverse observations in a relatively simple and coherent manner.

Unfortunately, the particular solutions given in Wrobel [47] for

radiationless decay from the lowest singlet and triplet states of poly-

atomic molecules are incomplete due to neglect of all energy loss

mechanisms, exclusive of those incorporated in the model-specific source

term, in the sample gas mixture and sample cell. The most important of

these dissipative processes are viscosity and thermal conductivity

losses [61]. By inclusion of these two loss mechanisms, it is possible

to calculate realistic acoustic mode amplitudes, mode amplitude ratios,

and an important figure of merit, the noise equivalent power (NEP).

Restrictions imposed by the extended theory are then applied to sample

cell design, selection of appropriate pressure transducers, and excita-

tion light source requirements.

The Extended Solution of the Heat-Flow Model

Consider a molecular vapor at equilibrium in a cylindrical sample

cell of length L and radius A. The equilibrium density, pressure, and

temperature are PO, pO, and TO. Radiationless relaxation processes

following excitation of the vapor in an absorption region cause fluctua-

tions in p, p, T and cause the vapor to assume an acoustic velocity

7(F,t). The conservation equations and equation of state constrain the

behavior of the vapor

p = p T equation of state,

d- = -p v- conservation of mass,

dv -
S= -7 p conservation of momentum,
du i

Sdu -P.. 7-(I + TR) conservation of energy,
dt ij ax R

where R is the ideal gas constant, M is the molecular weight of the

sample, u is the internal energy per gram of sample, p is the pressure

tensor, T is the nonradiative energy flux vector, TR is the radiative

energy flux vector, the convective derivative is given by

d + (( 7)
dt at

and the Einstein summation convention is used.

This solvable system of equations may be simplified by noting that

the fluctuations induced by released heat are small relative to the

equilibrium values. This acoustic approximation linearizess" the

system of equations and hence avoids the possibility of shock waves [62].

Thus, p = p' + PO p = p' + pO, T = T' + TO, and v is small. Products

of primed quantities are neglected. If viscosity and thermal con-

ductivity are also neglected, the system of equations simplifies to

yield a single separable equation [47,63]

2-,- c2 p' = (-l1) ^ (2.1)

where the heat source term H is given by

H -v R PO (2.2)

and ue is the energy per gram stored in electronically excited


The heat source term is given explicitly only when the physical

model (e.g.,a simple two-state model of triplet decay) is selected.

With appropriate heat source terms, equation (2.1) underlies both OAS

and TROAS. As stated previously, the loss-free solutions of (2.1)

are inadequate for the calculation of mode amplitudes, etc. Appendix One

contains a brief summary of Kreuzer's approach [63] which includes the

two major energy loss mechanisms--viscosity and thermal conductivity.

These results will be used as needed to complete the treatment of TROAS.

The fundamental effect of including viscosity and thermal con-

ductivity is the introduction of a finite quality factor Q. for each

acoustic resonance wj. The use of a Fourier Transform technique to effect

a solution of (2.1) is natural for OAS since the frequency parameter a

may represent the frequency at which the illumination source is

modulated. It may be, for instance, the number of pulses per second

(times two pi) delivered by a simple chopping wheel interposed between

illumination source and sample cell. If the analysis of Kreuzer [63]

is to be carried over to TROAS, it must be possible to identify a

suitable w.

It is assumed in the theory of TROAS that the illumination source

is an energy pulse of negligible duration. This situation is approxi-

mately met when the light pulse duration is much less than the smallest

relevant time constant in the physical model. As a practical matter,

it is satisfactory to have the light pulse duration, tp, substantially

less than the nonradiative lifetime of the spin-forbidden processes

being examined. Such spin-forbidden processes will almost always be

involved due to intersystem crossing even if only an excited singlet

state were initially excited. In the event no "slow" (e.g., forbidden)

states lie below the desired "fast" (e.g.,allowed) state, the system is

probably better treated by conventional spectroscopic methods. The

time constant, tT, of the thermal damping subsequent to pulse excita-

tion and relaxation will, for reasonable physical models, always be

much greater than t .

The high modulation frequency case for OAS is given by the con-

dition [63]

S tT >> 1 (2.3)

For the simple chopping wheel type of intensity modulation, the light

pulse duration is


assuming a 50% duty cycle for the chopping wheel. Hence,

-1 1
W tt >> 1 implies tT >> > a/2

so the light pulse duration is short relative to the thermal damping

time. Precisely this situation occurs in TROAS. A reasonable estimate

for w in TROAS is, therefore, given by t' More accurately, w will
be assumed to be the spectral bandwidth required to encompass most of

the spectral energy in the Fourier Transform of the light pulse [38].

For example, assume the light pulse to be a rectangular pulse of dura-

tion t centered at t = 0. Then the Fourier Transform is proportional

to [64]

tp since ( t p/27) .

The significant portion of the spectrum is in the range
-1 -1
jI/2 I p p
it is possible to calculate acoustic mode quality factors Qj, mode

amplitudes Aj(w), and NEP for TROAS. Expressions for Q. and Aj(i)

are given in Appendix One and an expression for NEP is derived in

Appendix Two.

One possible complication arises in the quantity for the absorbance,

a. The relation between absorbed light pulse intensity I and resultant

heat produced H is

H(r,t) = a I(F,t) (2.4)

if the intensity is not high enough to saturate the absorbance and if

the time variation of I is slow relative to the rate of relaxation.

The second condition is usually violated in the study of triplet

relaxation via TROAS. Hence, in a more realistic fashion, the relation

between H and I should be [63]

H(r,w) = c(w) I(T,w) (2.5)

The only immediate effect of this for TROAS is that the heat produced

lags the light intensity variation. This will not be considered


Combining the above relation with the expression for corrected

acoustic mode amplitudes (A1.20) from Appendix One yields

pA.(F,-) a(w) I(Fr,) d V
iw(-Y ) (2.6)
SV 2 [1- (a/.) -i( /mj Q )]

The integral determines the coupling between the normal acoustic modes

and the beam intensity since I(F,m) may be expanded in the same ortho-

normal set of functions used to express the pressure p(F,i). Hence,

the orthogonality equation (A1.7) from Appendix One implies that

a normal mode can be excited if and only if the intensity has a cor-

responding nonvanishing component. Intuitively, one expects longi-

tudinal modes to be excited if significant attenuation of the beam

occurs in passage through the cell. In a uniformly illuminated cell

(e.g.,intracavity in a dye laser) longitudinal modes should not be

excited. It is also reasonable to suppose that radial modes will be

least strongly pumped in the uniform illumination case. The former

expectation is verified by calculator simulations by Wrobel [47] while

Kamm [61] has explicitly given the relationship between excitation

beam width (a) and acoustic mode excitation:

p(r,t) = (-i ) 2 -2 P e-
J (1 /m iw/ Qj) c J (aj)

Jg(l,j r/A) e (2.7)


a 2 -2
(j ( (c (2,j)2 (2.8)

For the lowest frequency radial mode (j 1) excited at l, the above

equation simplifies to

(Y-1)Q1 p el-
Al(W ) Vc 1,1 r/) (2.9)
S c JO (al,l)

Note that the radial dependence of the amplitude of the lowest radial
mode is relatively weak, residing solely in u,.

In TROAS, the pressure rise mode (j =0) contains the significant
information. The other acoustic modes obscure the pressure rise and

waste energy that would preferably be pumped solely into the j=0 mode.

Examination of (2.9) above indicates that the radial modes will be

minimally pumped when e is minimized. This occurs at a=A, i.e.,
when the excitation beam width equals the sample cell radius.

Although other dissipative mechanisms external to the source term,

such as wave reflection, wave scattering, microphone conversion, and
volumetric losses, are present [61], they are of minor importance in

comparison with viscosity and thermal conductivity effects. Conse-

quently, we are now in position to consider the characteristics required

of each component of a TROAS experiment. The modified TROAS theory
restricts the selection of various components of the apparatus and

also determines to a large extent just what substances may be studied.

Excitation Source Selection

The "ideal" illumination source for TROAS should have the follow-

ing properties:

(1) high constant energy per output pulse (preferably greater

than 100 mJ),

(2) short, stable pulse duration tp (such that tp is much

less than other significant system time constants),

(3) high pulse repetition rate (for possible signal averaging


(4) low beam divergence (for efficient energy coupling to

the cylindrical sample cell),

(5) moderately large beam width (0.5-3.0 cm typically),

(6) nearly monochromatic light output (no more than several

Angstroms spectral bandwidth to enable excitation of a

single state),

(7) tunable operation in the visible and near ultraviolet

(to excite electronic states),

(8) ease of alignment,

(9) reliable operation over more than 104 high energy pulses

(higher if signal averaging is used).

These conditions are only met by tunable pulsed dye lasers. A compromise

between conditions 1 and 3 must be made in the selection of a suitable

dye laser system since the optical pumping sources have limited duty

cycles, pumping capacities, or heat dissipation capabilities. Since the

desired pressure rise mode is proportional to pulse energy, high pulse

energy is especially desirable; a coaxial flashlamp-pumped dye laser will

provide energies of several Joules per pulse. Unfortunately, the

repetition rate for this type of laser is approximately 0.1 Hz so

signal averaging is laborious. In fact, the rather limited tube life

(something above 104 shots), tube expense (approximately $500.), tube

failure mode (rapid disintegration), and photo-decomposition of the

dye solutions after a few score shots effectively rule out signal aver-

aging. Linear flashlamp-pumped dye lasers have repetition rates up to

30 Hz and pulse energies of 100 mJ maximum. Nitrogen laser-pumped dye

lasers have similar repetition rates but significantly less energetic

output pulses. They are not recommended for TROAS in the general case.

See Table 1 for a comparison of the above three dye laser types and the

monochromator and Xe lamp combination.

Sample Cell Construction

The sample cell should be an inert, high heat capacity, isothermal

cylinder having transparent end windows and several inlets for pressure

transducer(s), pump-out ports, sample admission, etc. A cylindrical

geometry is chosen to provide maximum coupling between excitation beam

and sample vapor. As previously shown, the desired pressure rise mode

(j =0) is maximally pumped when the excitation beam width equals the

cell radius. The inlets should be as small as possible to avoid ex-

cessive wave reflection losses. If one pressure transducer is used, it

is probably best positioned midway between the end windows since the

solution of the equations of TROAS is greatly facilitated for such a

choice [47] and beats in longitudinal modes are eliminated. The end

windows present a problem in that they should have high thermal conduc-

tivity and yet be at the same temperature as the body of the cell. The

-0 C. E


=a) u- E

a/) U) -J
a) 23 Ci ; r
*- i- = c= 2: s - 5. S.-
C n3 r- 0 C r
a) C*J 0 0 0 i- 2 Ln ~ a3 a)
E i- Cej" V 0l 0 N 4- 4-.


a) I
m vi 4


C -a
5- --
ina E 11*

< m3 v7Sn

C a

0; aJ )= 2. N7 .
1- 5)0 0 ~
:I Ec
0) C V 2- ) aE
CO E O Oir O -
S- *i- 3 0 S T

0 .-I. Qm C S V 0 o N. '4-. '-



a) C

*0 0-5)

V7 a) LO-
o a- -
0/ <0. CJ .- E .
a) 2 '0 S) 2 5- -r C

,a O f aS C

.0 o-) LO C C O -

0 -C -0Q

C S- A .
V1 Ir-Q (U Q;I

ar; = cuE

U 0 2 M -
3 CDula 3 N

0 -+i- CjE ^ ^ "- U

C n A 0
0. 0.5- A1 = )-
oC (-o 0n o0 C0 i O .-I 4-I
C, I C cI S C

C C C1 S- C C
0 0 Sa >, .

CL CU34- 41^ =
< -l A ) -
xa n3 == ^ f /

.0 0 = A i> 5

a aa)
S- S.- A E )
= S C 0S ;_ CS a)- E >
0 c- m aD

- 4-- C i- 5-C -7 a) 4 4-I

C. C 1 C3 0 -I 0) c Q)
S = C= = =
S.3 05- (U)0 4- C a
I-S. S0 5) 2_ 2 ^ C
C i 0. c H- 1
Q. o tU +- E r3 4- -
Q. vl 3 0 S- != ^
tU~5 >i -1 -0 S -= 0 E

*- *- /i J E *' ^n *r

^J QJ i- Q- (3 (3 C: C --
aj C u a; a 3 i- v )

a L j Q. as aa m -

high thermal conductivity is necessary so that the windows can dissipate

any heat produced by adsorbed substances. Otherwise, this heat will

pump spurious longitudinal modes [65] despite the windows being at nodes

of these modes [66]. If the windows cool significantly, condensation

may occur and the previous problem is greatly exacerbated. Sapphire is

an excellent choice of window material though expensive. Double

windows of Suprasil or Pyrex are satisfactory if light intensity can be

compromised approximately 8%. The double windows must have an adequate

dead air space between them, and they must be parallel to avoid scatter-

ing light onto the cell walls and pressure transducer.

In the absence of thermal conduction, the expected pressure rise

term is given by Wrobel [47]:

O,o t- = ( -1) kT(k )-1 (1 -e L)E/Vc (2.10)

where kT(k*)1 is the nonradiative yield, a is the sample absorbance,

L is the cell length, E is the excitation source energy per pulse, and

Vc is the cell volume. As a practical matter, a will be small since all

samples should be run at as low a pressure as possible (consistent with

the continuum model of sound conduction) to minimize the quenching ef-

fect of collisions. For a small, 1 -e-'L is approximately equal to aL.

Thus, equation (2.10) simplifies to

P',0 It_ L/' A2L = a/7rA2 (2.11)

where A is the cell radius. Thus,the pressure rise is independent of

cell length but inversely proportional to A2. Nevertheless, L should

be as short as possible to lessen scattered light problems and to allow

placement of the cell in the sample compartment of a UV-visible spectro-

photometer for in situ gas phase absorbance measurements.

Cell radius is much more important for a variety of reasons. Pres-

sure rise amplitude is proportional to A-2 so the cell radius should be

minimized. The lower limit on radius is the excitation beam width.

The NEP is also proportional to A so again the radius should be mini-

mized. Three time constants also depend on cell radius; these are

designated tT, td, and tw and are described below.

The time constant for the thermal reequilibration following release

of heat in the cell is approximately given by

tT = A2/c (2.12)

where K is the thermal diffusivity. This upper time limit is not

critical and usually is of the order of 1 to 10 seconds.

The acoustic delay time td is the time required for sound waves

to reach the pressure transducer from the nearest illuminated sample

region. It is a lower time limit given by

td = (A-a)/c (2.13)

Note that td = 0 for a = A.

The "mean free path time" tw is the time required for collisional

deactivation at the cell wall (ignoring deactivation at the windows).

This is given approximately by

tw. A2/ic (2.14)

where E is the mean free path in the sample gas mixture. This is an

important upper time limit.

The time limits defined by these time constants may be modified in

several ways. First, since both td and tw are inversely proportional

to the speed of sound in the sample gas, it is possible to add a trans-

parent carrier gas such as He, Ar, SF6 or a freon to the sample to

change the speed of sound in the mixture. The speed of sound in an

ideal gas mixture is

c = (yRT/M)1/2 (2.15)

where M is the average molecular weight of the sample mixture. Thus,

by employing a heavy carrier gas (e.g. SF6) the speed of sound can be

decreased and the upper limit due to the "mean free path time," t,,

increased. Unfortunately, at the same time the lower limit due to the

acoustic time delay, td, is also increased. Thus, it is necessary to

choose the carrier gas with care to select the upper and lower time

limits which are most convenient for study of the molecule under


The second possibility is to use the fact that both < and t are

inversely proportional to pressure [47]. Note, however, that the

pressure rise amplitude is proportional to the partial pressure of the

absorbing species and that collisional deactivation processes such as

triplet-triplet annihilation become more important at higher pressures.

The use of an inert monatomic carrier gas also increases the signal

amplitude through the heat capacity ratio term. A sample calculation

is given in Chapter Four.

Sample Selection

The pressure rise which occurs after radiationless decay is given

approximately by [47]

p' z (Y-1) kT(k*)-1 E po/-A2RT (2.16)

where E is the pulse energy, kT(k*)-1 is the nonradiative yield, E is

the molar absorption coefficient, and pO is the sample partial pressure.

It is assumed that a is small so that the following relation is valid:

1 -e-'L aL = E poL/RT (2.17)

Equation (2.16) is the principal constraint on sample selection.

A well-chosen sample should have a high vapor pressure at room tempera-

ture, a high singlet-triplet absorption coefficient, and a low radiative

yield. The laser output pulse energy must be high in the triplet

absorption region, the cell radius relatively small, and an inert

monatomic carrier gas should be used to increase the y-1 term and to

insure that the acoustic approximation is valid.

In addition, the sample should not be readily quenched by collisions

(especially with the carrier gas), should not readily decompose, and

should not undergo any sort of photochemistry. It should also have

triplet and singlet manifolds well separated relative to the spectral

bandwidth of the excitation light source. The triplet lifetime must

also fit in the time window given by

td < t < minimum of (tT,tw) (2.18)

Another limitation is imposed by the frequency response of the

pressure transducer and associated electronics. An upper time limit

due to low frequency roll-off of the pressure detection system response

(typically 6 db per octave) may limit observation times to substantially

less than the thermal damping time tT unless care is taken in the

design of the pressure detection system. Even worse is the lower time

limit given approximately by

t, = (2fh)-1 (2.19)

where fh is the -3 db high frequency cut-point. High frequency roll-

off for a capacitance microphone is typically 12 db per octave [67].

Since the desired pressure rise is actually a sum of two disparate

exponential rises followed by the thermal reequilibration exponential

decay, it is necessary to have high frequency response. Otherwise, the

pressure detection system will be rise-time limited and thus unable to

distinguish "fast" heat from "slow." Thus, the triplet lifetime is

constrained by another time window; it must, therefore, fit into the

intersection of the allowed time frames.

Pressure Transducer Selection

The "ideal" pressure transducer for TROAS should have the following


(1) high acoustic sensitivity (preferably above 1 mV/Pa),

(2) high, flat frequency response including dc (to facilitate

static pressure calibration),

(3) low acoustic impedance (concordant with gas phase acoustics),

(4) high immunity to elastic waves in the mounting substrate

(e.g., vibrations and light-induced artifacts in the


(5) immunity to stray light,

(6) linear response to absolute pressure changes,

(7) low output impedance (for high noise immunity and ease

of amplification),

(8) long-term output stability,

(9) wide operating temperature range and low temperature


(10) small, rugged, chemically inert construction (for ease of


(11) low output drift in reactive environments,

(12) ability to withstand vacuum pump-down,

(13) relatively low cost.

No single pressure transducer available meets all of these condi-

tions or even the first dozen of them. In the previous TROAS study [47],

the pressure transducer was a PitranTM (pressure sensitive transistor)

developed and marketed by Stolab, Inc. Several different pressure

transducer types were used in the present study: capacitance micro-

phones, piezoelectric disks, and piezoelectric cylinders. These types

of transducers are compared with respect to the above properties in

Table 2. A more detailed comparison of capacitance microphones is

presented in Table 3. Properties not listed are similar for the various

microphone types.

Although capacitance microphones are well suited to gas phase

acoustics applications in general, they have several disadvantages

relative to TROAS applications. First, it is usually necessary to

exclude oxygen from the sample cell to avoid triplet quenching. This

is achieved by pump-down of the cell and refill with sample and carrier

10 0

u 0



C w


: I

r 3
WU -
S V0 3 0)
o o 0 r
- 3 -


0T 0

0- i
1 rL
S> I

CM 0 3 3 0
0 i- 0 0


U 0- 0

W 0-

1- U -
S 0 =
0 0 *

U U 0
0 C- -t

Q" P S- ^
J 0 r 3Q C
S- U ~




0 2

E au

0 0 3

0O V V Wj
0, u -

V-VO 3 *,- 0 v -3

V0E - 4- ci E

C) h

0 -)

4- 4-
0 0

0. a.

3 0
0 0

4T- Ci- 0
sV 0
*o r


0: -
WU 0
WJE 4-1
> c

4-L S
U 3
.0 > 0
00 0


0 )
m o o

. 0 C 0 -o
a) Ln 3 o
> C\i 5- S


S1) a)
It 5- Nsi
E 4-' 0
I U -
* W 1
.0 -- r-
-T -U 0.


.0 I. -
0 C )

ajX S-


U -) 0..
C-)-- C


o Li





s- N
S I S. 3

o CO o
EO o -- c >


a- n
.. N

tu o

L. N

5a -- CD
W) I L=

U. lI
0- V
S0 0 >

C -
E N -

4 (C3) 10
0 0

a- ) 0
S N-

OC 0
a- o

0 1.. U -
*r L W, a
^u "iC- 3 a)
o~ c: m d)en -
ua eC V Ll-LL > 4-

gas. Well-designed capacitance microphones, however, have a trapped

gas volume beneath the metallized diaphragm and a deliberate slow leak

to the external environment. For optimum sensitivity the restoring

force on the diaphragm due to the compliance of the trapped volume

should equal that due to tension in the diaphragm [67]. The second

disadvantage is operating temperature range. Although externally

polarized microphones may tolerate operating temperatures of several

hundred degrees C, electret elements depolarize at elevated

temperatures [68].

Piezoelectric transducers are not well suited to gas phase

acoustics because of their severe acoustic impedance mismatch with

gases. The acoustic impedance Za of a medium is the product of the

sound velocity and the density of the medium. Typical values for

solids are in the range 107 to 108 kg m-2sec- ; for gases, about

5 x 102 kg m-2sec- [69]. As noted by Farrow et al. [69], the acoustic

transmission coefficient at is given by

at = (4Zai Za2)/ [(Zai +Za2) (2.20)

where Z is the acoustic impedance of medium i with sound waves
normally incident at the media boundary. The transmission coefficient

(at) is the ratio of transmitted wave amplitude to reflected wave

amplitude; gas-solid interfaces have typical values of 3.x10-5 while

solid-solid interfaces may be close to unity (0.9) [69]. Thus,

piezoelectric transducers are susceptible to vibrations and shocks in

the mounting substrate and are relatively insensitive to gas phase

sound waves.

Pressure Transducer Electronics

The output signal of the pressure transducer must be amplified and

possibly conditioned before being further processed. The two primary

pressure transducer choices are capacitance microphones and piezo-

electric ceramics both of which have extremely high output impedances

(greater than 108 ohms). If a voltage preamplifier is used, it must be

located as close to the transducer as possible to avoid power line noise

and cable microphonics. Since the sample cell (and transducer) may need

to be heated to produce an adequate sample partial pressure, the pre-

amplifier must have good temperature stability, wide operating tempera-

ture range, and low thermal noise.

Methods which allow use of a connecting cable between transducer

and preamplifier are generally deficient in other aspects. Charge

preamplifiers are usually noisier (ceteris paribus) than voltage pre-

amplifiers [70]. Parametric amplification of audio frequencies is too

complex to justify the minimal improvement in noise performance expected.

Carrier current or carrier voltage modulation schemes such as AM, FM,

and pulse frequency modulation are all usable if properly designed and

well implemented [71-72]. These schemes are usually, however, difficult

to implement. Voltage preamplification is, therefore, generally the

simplest and most practical method to use.

The actual preamplifier circuit configuration is less important

than the "front end." It is crucial that the front end provide high

gain and add as little noise as possible [64]. The field effect tran-

sistor (FET) is preferred for voltage amplifiers driven from source

impedances above approximately 104 ohms due to the extremely low input

current noise typical of FETs (10-13-10-16 A/Hz1/2). The so-called

1/f noise of junction FETs (JFETs) is substantially lower than that of

MOSFETs for ultrasonic frequencies below approximately 1 MHz [73].

Discrete low-noise JFETs are also quieter than JFETs in IC op amps [74].

The dominant noise parameter for a JFET is input noise current In with

input noise voltage Vn of secondary importance. The optimum source

impedance is V /In. Noise performance will be degraded if nonreactive

components are used to match source impedance to the above optimum

source impedance.

The dominant noise sources in a JFET are channel generated thermal

noise, gate leakage current shot noise, and generation-recombination

surface effect noise [75]. The dominant noise source for high fre-

quency operation is the thermal noise [75]

V2 = 4 k TB / gf (2.21)

where B is bandwidth and gfs is forward transconductance. Low noise

JFETs, therefore, have low leakage and high gain.

The most convenient circuit configuration is probably the simple

source follower. This circuit provides extremely high selectable input

impedance, low output impedance, and high, flat frequency response. If

the input is capacitively coupled, a rather long time constant results

which may, in some circumstances, limit the upper time limit of observa-

tion of the transducer output. This RC time constant is particularly

important for piezoelectric transducers [62].

The effect of the preamplifier input impedance is interesting.

Total noise voltage decreases with increasing input resistance if the



input resistance is above approximately 5.x108 ohms and if the JFET
14 1/2
input noise current I is below about 2.xl14 A/Hz /. This result is

based on microcomputer calculations based on a composite noise source

model. Details are found in Appendix Three.


The apparatus used in the present research may be divided into five


(1) a pulsed, tunable dye laser system with photodetector,

(2) sample cells and vacuum system,

(3) pressure transducers and associated electronics,

(4) microcomputer interface electronics and transient

waveform recorder,

(5) a microcomputer system with adequate software.

The subsystems have been listed in decreasing order of importance.

Previous TROAS studies [47] were unsuccessful primarily due to short-

comings in the dye laser system although inadequacies in the remaining

subsystems were sufficient to compel a complete redesign of the ap-

paratus. The subsystems adopted for this study are described below in


The Dye Laser System

The dye laser system chosen was a Candela Corporation ED 625-U

flashlamp driver unit and CL 625 coaxial flashlamp. A Phase-R Corpora-

tion high voltage supply (25 KV maximum) provided the 18-22 KV

necessary to fire the flashlamp and cause lasing in the dye. The laser

mirror mount and grating mount were also Phase-R products. The dye

solutions were turbulently pumped by a Micropump (Model 10-84-316-852)

high flow centrifugal pump and filtered and bubble trapped by a Pall

filter assembly (resin-free polypropylene 0.45 pm filter cartridge and

polypropylene housing). Tuning was effected using an inexpensive

Edmund Scientific diffraction grating (5000 A blaze, 600 1/mm) and a

40% reflectivity (420 nm -650 nm) front reflector from Candela. The

dye reservoir was a machined stainless steel tank not equipped with heat

exchange coils. The windows on the coaxial flashlamp were antireflec-

tion coated in the visible on the outer faces only. The laser cavity

length was approximately 2 meters. The system will lase broadband

(70-100 A) and not tune if the cavity is shortened by a factor of three.

The dye solutions were prepared from laser grade dyes supplied by

the Exciton Corporation. Concentrations of 10 10-3 M were used with

200 proof ethanol or Spectro-grade methanol as the solvent. Solution

volume was one liter. Dyes used successfully were, in Exciton's nomen-

clature, Rhodamines 6G, B, and 110; Coumarins 540, 480, 450, 440;

Fluorol 555; Kiton Red S; and Laser Dye 473.

The spark gap trigger in the flashlamp driver unit was pressurized

with He or dry N2 at 8-12 psi. The laser driver unit could be triggered

either under manual pushbutton control or via an optocoupler circuit

under microcomputer control. The circuit used is shown in Figure 5.

A commercial optocoupler was not used because of their relatively low

(less than 7500 V) breakdown voltages. No significant EMI or RFI was

produced by a laser firing sequence.

Alignment of the optical cavity was achieved with the aid of an

adjustable aperature and a He-Ne alignment laser. The aperature was

used to coaxially align the dye laser optics, dye cavity, and sample

cell. Three passes of the He-Ne 6328. A beam through the system are






4- -




- -

.. --








E "3

1: 4-1 *r
e 4

sufficient to produce excellent alignment. The He-Ne laser is approxi-

mately 5 meters in front of the dye laser cavity. Fine adjustment, if

necessary, is accomplished by use of the micrometers on the optics

mounts. Performance characteristics of the dye laser system are shown

in Table 4.

Several comments on this dye laser system are in order. First, the

system would lase under very poor conditions; the cavity may be a cheap

mirror and a Suprasil window. An energy meter must be used to optimize

system performance. Second, the dye solution heats up when turbulently

pumped and pulse energy falls about 20%; the dye reservoir should have

heat exchanging coils for optimum performance. Third, the power density

is high enough (almost 1 MW/cm ) to "burn" the diffraction grating so

inexpensive 600 I/mm grating replicas are recommended. Fourth, fresh

dye solutions should be used whenever possible because the first few

score of shots are the most energetic. When the system is almost per-

fectly aligned and fresh dye is used, a sharp, snapping sound accompanies

the laser pulse. The grating will most likely be damaged when this

excellent lasing occurs. Finally, if the laser did not lase when

aligned, it was realigned once or twice. This required no more than

ten minutes. If it still did not lase, the dye solution was changed.

Flushing the system with 190 proof ethanol followed by one flush with

200 proof ethanol eliminates dye contamination problems.

The laser power was monitored with a silicon PIN photodiode (MRD-

501) with a current limited, regulated 22.5 volt bias supply and 3.01 K

ohm photocurrent conversion resistor. With the aid of machined Teflon

attenuators, the detector system was used to detect pulse intensities

as high as 5. MW. In addition, a Gen-Tec ED-200 joulemeter was used to

obtain accurate pulse energies for comparison purposes.

Table 4. Performance characteristics of


the Candela dye laser system.

Achieved performance

Pulse energy 2.5 J

Pulse duration 5.x10-7 sec

Pulse repetition rate 0.1 Hz

Spectral bandwidth 0.2 nm

Tuning range 410. nm to 640. nm

Sample Cells and the Vacuum System

Six different sample cells were constructed for use in the present

TROAS studies. In addition, the sample cell used by Wrobel [47] was

altered and used in the initial experiments. The salient features of

these cells are given in Table 5. Initial attempts to comply with the

constraints imposed by the theory of TROAS were loosened in later cell

designs when consistent results could not be obtained. Specific

information concerning each cell is given below.

Cell #1 was the aluminum cell used by Wrobel [47]. The cell was

modified to accept a capacitance microphone and a copper tube was cold

soldered inside (with gallium) to increase corrosion resistance. It

was not vacuum-tight after the modifications and was inconvenient to


Cell #2 was the primary sample cell used. It was machined from a

9.5" long, 2.5" diameter rod of stainless steel which was drilled,

reamed, and ballized to 1.002" inner diameter. The ends were machined

for "O"-ring seals and 2" diameter, 1/8" thick Suprasil windows.

Pump-out ports 1" from each end were Cajun Ultratorr connectors stain-

less steel-soldered into the cell. Two pressure transducer ports were

milled into the cell to allow use of one while improvements were tested

on the other port.

The cell was temperature controlled to 0.1 C by an Oven Indus-

tries, Incorporated,proportional temperature controller driving a

doubly insulated heating tape. Feedback output was provided by a

thermistor mounted in a reamed hole 0.050" from the inner cell wall.

Cell temperatures were measured with a thermometer when necessary.

Table 5. Sample cells.

Sample cell Length and Vacuum Suitable
umber c Composition radius V pressure
(cm) y transducers

1 aluminum with L = 16.5 He leak Pitran,
Suprasil A = 0.64 tight capacitance
windows microphone

2 stainless L = 23.45 He leak piezoelectric
steel with A = 1.27 tight transducer,
Suprasil capacitance
windows microphones

3 Pyrex tubing O.D. =0.94 He leak piezoelectric
Teflon valve I.D. =0.61 tight transducer

4 Pyrex flask A = 2.83 He leak piezoelectric
and side arm tight

5 stainless L = 5.0 not He capacitance
steel with A = 0.36 leak tight microphone,
Suprasil piezoelectric
windows transducer

6 Pyrex test L = 15.0 not He capacitance
tube A = 0.76 leak tight microphone

7 window glass L = 4.80 not He capacitance
and Pyrex A = 8.40 leak tight microphone

The cell was rigidly mounted to a 2' by 3' by 1" thick drilled and

tapped (1/4-20, 2" centers) aluminum plate which served as optical

bench, mounting platform, and system ground. The cell may be isolated

from ground with Teflon straps (to avoid ground loops). See Figure 6.

Cell #3 was a Pyrex and Teflon 5 mm valve with one "arm" sealed.

See Figure 7. A shielded piezoelectric transducer on the outside of

the glass was intended to pick up elastic waves in the glass produced

by an illuminated internal sample melted or sublimed onto the inner

wall of the glass tube.

Cell #4 was a Florence flask with a Pyrex and Teflon 5 mm valve and

tungsten feed-through electrodes in a separate Pyrex apparatus. This

cell was used for solutions and gas phase measurements with a suspended

piezoelectric transducer. See Figure 8.

Cell #5 was a Cajun Ultratorr 3/8" tee with 3/8" diameter, 1/16"

thick Suprasil windows in the arms of the tee and the pressure trans-

ducer in the stem. Minimal machining was required to enable the tee to

accept either a capacitance microphone or a piezoelectric disk. A

spring-loaded electrode was used when the piezoelectric transducer was

in place and the signal was brought out through a vacuum-tight BNC

bulkhead feed-through connector soldered to a brass 3/8" nut from a

similar Cajun 3/8" tee. The cell was vacuum tight though without need

to be evacuated.

Cell #6 was a Pyrex test tube with a Teflon tape-wrapped capacitance

microphone snugly inserted into the end. The cell was illuminated per-

pendicular to the long axis and heated uniformly with a heat gun.

Cell #7 was a Pyrex cylinder section with 1/4" sidearm and 1/2"

drilled hole for mounting the capacitance microphone. Ordinary window





ul 3
S. C'J -0
3. *i

Figure 7. TROAS sample cell number 3.

Vacuum System

5 mm Pyrex Valve

Teflon Stopcock
With Ethylene-
Propylene "O"-rings

Molded Aluminum Enclosure



Figure 8. TROAS sample cell number 4.

Differential Amplifier

Tungsten Electrodes

Spring Loaded Nickel Silver

to Teflon 5 mm Valve and
Vacuum System


glass plates were carefully epoxied onto the ends of the cylinder to

produce a highly transparent cell. See Figure 9.

The vacuum system used must be capable of removing oxygen from the

sample cell to avoid the possibility of triplet quenching. A liquid

nitrogen-trapped rotary oil pump system is sufficient to attain 10-4

torr which is adequate to exclude oxygen from liquid samples by repeated

freeze-pump-thaw cycles. Solids may be deoxygenated by solution in a

suitable solvent and subsequent pump-down. The system pressure was

measured with a Wallace & Tiernan gauge (0-800 torr in units of 1 torr).

The vacuum system was tested for leaks with a Veeco MA-2 mass spec-

trometer helium leak detector. Pressures to 10-4 torr were routinely

obtained in the system.

Pressure Transducers and their Associated Electronics

Several hundred man-hours were spent in the design and construction

of improved circuitry and transducer mounting techniques. Among the

techniques tried without success were laboratory-made, externally polar-

ized capacitance microphones and FM carrier current modulation by

microphone capacitance changes. The Pitran pressure sensitive trans-

ducer was rejected due to moderate sensitivity (380 pV/mtorr), high

temperature drift (400 mV/C), differential pressure mode operation, high

acoustic impedance, extremely high susceptibility to damage (especially

in mounting), and sensitivity to mounting substrate vibrations.

The most important parameters to be considered in selection of

pressure transducers for TROAS are sensitivity, acoustic impedance,

and flat, broadband frequency response. Unfortunately, these parameters

are usually dependent on each other. Consider the capacitance

Figure 9. TROAS sample cell number 7.

Pyrex Cylinder and
Pump-out Port

t jMicrophone
I Port

Window Glass Plates

microphone. The resonant frequency of a standard unpinned disk micro-

phone (approximately 80% of the high frequency cut-point) is

resonant = (fr/m)1/2 (3.1)

where the restoring force fr is roughly proportional to acoustic im-

pedance and diaphragm mass m is proportional to the square of the

diaphragm diameter. Thus, high frequency response requires low sensi-

tivity and small, rigid, thin diaphragms. Two high quality microphones

are compared in Table 6. The microphone actually used is also

described in Table 6 [76].

Laboratory-made microphones worked, though not as well as commer-

cial capacitance microphones, probably due to the method of construction

[67]. The microphones were constructed of aluminized mylar without a

trapped gas volume (to allow pump-down).

The piezoelectric transducers used were 1/2" disks of PZT-5H from

Vernitron, Inc. Also used were two sizes of piezoelectric cylinders

and a thin, high frequency response (5 MHz) disk also of PZT-5H. One

immediate problem with piezoelectric transducers is calibration. The

output voltage of the transducer is [62]

K' Ap Ap
V 1T p (3.2)
0 i + iwT C (

where K is the modulus of the piezoelectric, Ap is transducer area, C

is the transducer and electronics shunt capacitance, Ap is the pressure

change, T is the RC time constant of the transducer and amplifier, and

w is the frequency of the pressure change. For w much greater than

-, the output voltage is proportional to pressure change. For static
,the output voltage is proportional to pressure change. For static

Table 6. Capacitance microphone comparison.

Radio Shack B & K Dynasciences
Property 33-1056 4144 814

Acoustic 3.2 mV/Pa 50. mV/Pa 0.56 mV/Pa

Resonant 6. KHz 8.3 KHz 90. KHz

Frequency 20 Hz 10 Hz 50 Hz -
response 12 KHz about 15 KHz 120 KHz

Corrosion low low high

References [76] [63] [72]

or low frequency pressure changes this is not the case. Calibration of

the piezoelectric ceramic transducer used in this research is described

in Chapter Four.

Pressure Transducer Electronics

Many preamplifiers and amplifiers were designed, breadboarded,

modified, constructed, tested, and usually rejected. These included

preamplifiers with discrete JFETs, discrete bipolar transistors, and

bipolar, Bi-mos, or JFET input op amps. Although the noise model

(Appendix Four) indicates that the discrete JFET-input voltage follower-

with-gain circuit is optimal, this circuit is not easily implemented in

the vicinity of the heated cell. Unfortunately, this is necessary

because of the very high output impedance of the pressure transducer.

The circuit eventually adopted was a source follower (1010 ohms input

impedance) used to provide impedance conversion. The circuit used a

discrete JFET (2N5486) in an ac-coupled configuration with input time

constant of 103 seconds. Voltage gain was obtained with a Tektronix

Model 26A2 differential amplifier which allows switch selection of

gains from 102 to 105, adjustable bandwidth from dc to 1 MHz, and dif-

ferential mode inputs. This was especially convenient when used with

the data acquisition system and Fast Fourier Transform program because

the bandwidth may be adjusted to avoid aliasing. Differential mode

operation was necessary to eliminate power line hum pick-up. See

Figure 10 for the circuit schematic.

Having selected a pressure transducer and associated preamplifier,

the electrical noise of the system was measured under no-signal condi-

tions. For the system described, this was 11. pV rms determined by

c T

averaging 25 acquired noise spectra and assuming a crest factor of 4

[74]. The system bandwidth was 0.1 Hz to 1. MHz with shorted inputs

and gain of 5.x103. With the sensitivity of the Radio Shack capacitance

microphone given as 3.2 mV/Pa and the conversion factor of 1 Pa =

7.50061 mtorr, the sensitivity is thus 4.2x10-4 V/mtorr. If the limit

of detection is considered to be a signal to noise ratio (S/N) of unity

(no signal averaging), then the pressure required to equal electrical

noise is 0.20 mtorr. This pressure equivalent noise level is very im-

portant in determining the suitability of samples for TROAS studies.

By direct comparison of the piezoelectric transducer with the Radio

Shack capacitance microphone, the pressure equivalent noise level of

the former is found to be approximately 20. mtorr. This comparison was

carried out in cell #2 with NO2 (a strongly absorbing substance).

Microcomputer Interface Electronics

The electronics necessary to interface the microcomputer to the

various amplifiers, chart recorder, peak detector, et cetera is shown

in schematic form in Figure 11. The circuitry consists of relatively

standard, independent subsystems interfaced to the microcomputer I/O

lines which in turn are provided by Motorola 6820 Peripheral Interface

Adaptor (PIA) LSI chips tied to the microcomputer address, data, and

control busses. The functions of these subsystems are listed below:

(1) chart recorder output (0-1 volts) via an 8-bit D/a


(2) four input channel multiplexer- selectable active filter-

gain controlled amplifier- offset and level shifter- 8-bit

A/D converter,






r 1







cu u
C i, 3
*i- ~ ~ -1 3- Q.
Svi c m

-^~Q O.'llC f

oE5-- ICi
0 I S S

m u a 0

-lsC Q O 5. Q--
__ __ 0 CO D 1 *r-

ca a ca

i -C ca

!- ,c- D Q 0 to S c= !--

ri 4-C i CA< .
(Ua n --- :a

I- I n c c

cm c0
>~~1 GJ 0 (T *r a o -_
*-100 r- T----C __ /

4 -- 7 -01-
4 c L5i
_ CF

'a. In rQ
14 14

0)r ^^ 'p ---
**o- l ^ \ I^^ ^^

'--T --* 1-1 4-i -

+-)~O -I t/ (_ O
4-- ro
cn C:11 /\11 1 a
r IT 1+ -I ___________


C ---- j - --

vi -l- LIO I I 1 i.

*r ( o I I I 1 / 01 -a I /- ---
'r l-- I I I 10 *r I Q /*
*^ QI I I 0 -L I I

ii ^/Tr 7^
___ //

^V^L^Ym "
_____ ^ C
c r-< o ^ - __ -
*r -- ^ t -- ^ < - s c

r i -- N4a c2 m

(3) transient recorder and stepping motor control lines

(LSTTL or n-MOS),

(4) photodetector peak detector with CMOS 4016 transmission

gate reset,

(5) photodetector linear response circuit with additional

CMOS 40014 Schmidt trigger optional output.

The stepping motor control lines and linear CW light detection cir-

cuitry are not used in TROAS; the circuitry was designed to allow con-

ventional OAS with a Spectra-Physics Model 164 Argon Ion Laser and a

Model 375 CW dye laser. The flashlamp-pumped dye laser, sample cell,

light detector, and Spectra-Physics lasers were coaxially aligned, and

the interface electronics and software facilitated rapid changeover from

TROAS mode to OAS mode or vice versa.

The data acquisition system incorporated a Biomation 805 Waveform

Recorder with selectable sampling rates to 5 MHz, 2048 words of 8 bits

each memory storage, pretrigger recording, sensitivity to 0.1 volts

full scale, and microcomputer compatible data readout. A Tracor

Northern NS-570 Digital Signal Averager with 20 psec (minimum) dwell

time per channel, 9 or 12 bit data conversion, and automatic normaliza-

tion of summed spectra was used in the earliest attempts at TROAS.

The signal average was found to be too slow and susceptible to RFI

generated by a laser firing sequence.

The Microcomputer System

The Commodore 2001-8 PET microcomputer system was chosen for use

in the experiment for many reasons. The most important are hardware

and software compatibility with previously used KIM-1 microcomputer


systems; 6502 microprocessor-based, efficient architecture; fast 8 K

BASIC with assembly language subroutines; built-in cassette tape drive

and video monitor; low cost (S795).

The main program used in the TROAS studies is listed in Appendix

Four. The listing contains no "remarks" because of memory restrictions

imposed by the relatively small amount of available random access

memory (8K of RAM). The program consists of independent subroutines

called from the keyboard by number. These are briefly described


(1) initialization and status of microcomputer interface


(2) data acquisition from transient recorder and control of

laser firing, light peak detector readout,

(3) chart recorder output of raw data,

(4) data storage in named cassette files,

(5) 256 point Fast Fourier Transform subroutine based on the

Fortran version by Bell [77],

(6) video display of numerical data concerning FFT spectral

intensities and powers,

(7) line spectrum output to chart recorder of FFT results,

(8) assembly language subroutine to eliminate the effects of

the time delay (about 100 usec) in the laser firing circuit


(9) least squares exponential curve fit subroutine.


In order to determine the validity of the theory of TROAS, suitable

calibration standards must be run. These compounds should meet the con-

ditions imposed by the theory and those arising from necessary compro-

mises in the experimental apparatus. Previous attempts by Wrobel [47]

failed to verify the fundamental two-component pressure rise expected

to occur immediately after absorption of light by the sample. The

observation of the pulsed optoacoustic effect by other investigators

has been previously mentioned; those observations do not, however,

constitute evidence for the validity of the theory of TROAS.

The first compound used in the TROAS experiments reported herein

was 2,2,4,4-tetramethyl-l,3-cyclobutanedithione (dithione). Oithione

is a deep red, crystalline solid with distinct camphoraceous odor.

This compound and the related dione have been the objects of several

theoretical and experimental investigations by Vala and coworkers [78-

80]. Although the UV-visible spectrum of dithione is still without a

definitive interpretation, several important facts are known. First,

several definite triplet peaks at 5943 A, 5926-5922 A, 5836 A, and

5738 A are easily accessible; in fact, the dye laser output power with

Rhodamine 6G dye spans these wavelengths and is highest at about 5900 A.

The second important property is a relatively high molar absorption

coefficient (approximately 1.5 1 mole- cm- ). The third property is

the significant vapor pressure (approximately 0.50 torr at room tempera-

ture). These last two results are due to Powell [81].

The pressure rise expected from dithione may be calculated using

equation (2.16). The expected rise p' is 24. mtorr assuming E = 1.5

1 mole-1 cm-1, PO = 0.50 torr, T = 300 K, y = 1.4, k = 0, E = 1 J, and

A = 1.27 cm (for cell #2). This is much larger than the pressure

equivalent noise level obtainable using the Radio Shack capacitance

microphone (0.20 mtorr) and approximately equal to that of the system

if a piezoelectric transducer is used (20. mtorr).

Since only the piezoelectric transducer can tolerate vacuum pump-

down, a carrier gas at atmospheric pressure must be used with the

dithione to avoid damaging the capacitance microphone. Helium gas is

an excellent choice because of its high purity, inertness, high sound

velocity, and high heat capacity ratio. The effect of trapped oxygen

in the microphone would be to convert slow heat to fast heat by triplet

quenching. This problem will be deferred until later.

The three time constants tT, td, and tw may be calculated from

equations (2.12) -(2.14) respectively. Under the above conditions,

these are tT = 0.73 sec, td = 6.6 usec, and tw = 0.86 sec. For air

at STP, they are t- = 2.7 sec, td = 19. isec, and t = 7.3 sec. The

acoustic delay times td were calculated assuming a = A/2 = 0.635 cm.

With the frequency response of the microphone given as 20. Hz to

12. KHz, the corresponding allowed time window is 42. usec to 25. msec.

Thus, the pressure detector limits the triplet lifetime which can be

observed at both extremes. If the oxygen in the trapped volume in the

microphone quenches the triplet, the result may well be solely fast

heat, i.e., heat fast relative to the 42. usec limit. It is also known

from previous studies [82] that the triplet lifetime of dithione is

less than 1 msec. In addition, dithione definitely photochemically

decomposes and also thermally decomposes to the mixed ketone and other

unknown species. This decomposition to a viscous red oil occurs at

temperatures below the reported decomposition temperature [83]. The

dithione used in these experiments was supplied by the research labora-

tories of Tennessee Eastman. In general, impurities caused no problems

in the TROAS experiments so that compounds were used as supplied, which

was in no case less than 95% purity.

In order to overcome the problem of decomposition and to obtain

known radiationless rate constants, several compounds exhibiting the

internal heavy atom effect were studied. These were naphthalene,

2-chloronaphthalene, anthracene, l-chloroanthracene, and 9-bromo-

anthracene. These compounds have been studied for many years and

consequently several of the triplet energies, molar absorption coeffi-

cients, and radiationless rate constants are known or can be estimated

reasonably accurately. The lowest triplet in naphthalene, at 77 K in

a glass [84], is 4695 A. It may be expected to shift somewhat in the

gas phase. Other relevant data (and references [85 -87]) are given in

Table 7. Figure 12 shows the structures of the organic molecules

studied. Unfortunately, the molar absorption coefficients are very

small for all of these compounds. It was hoped that the relatively high

vapor pressures of several of the compounds, particularly naphthalene

(10 torr @ 35.8 C [85]),would compensate for the low absorptivities.

In addition to the above compounds, both 19 and NO2 were tried.

Both of these substances absorb strongly throughout the visible, have

been studied extensively, and have complicated spectra. Iodine has

<. L CO
C 0

4- ^ 1
C, m cj
CO C) C '
*co )a ri
gu r -

0 S

CL L' S..


-, ~-0
I.- CI
- S-J 40

QH -



+' re ao


3. :
I- ,-*


i a)



C C~

*- C-
o a


4- C



U co



'. rn C r^

coooc c LO

zi)CJ C oi M =
m 0'] 0l_ CD
i-PI 0 U3
V)-L Co


C -- 1


0 0

fl0 CO LC)

M m C co
C--_ c .

a) ar
s: ra oj D

C C1 o- C o U I aC
C L? U c-U (U
C- C C 0 c s E
- < 0 U0 i U 0-I
3 5 S J -C C
CD- u -C 4 nC
0 'rJI
< r C rca

CC-.J m
~oQ I LO

C9 C
C=1--I Co 0 S

X -. o

tvi Lrtj 's UT u o

C\J, I--I -u

xn -

o o




















- ____________~~~~~_____________ __

c I


U /U



= i-







been studied by conventional OAS techniques with interesting results

[31]. When moist, iodine attacks aluminum very rapidly and stainless

steel (316) slowly. It also attacks the silver metallization on the

PZT-5H piezoelectric transducers yielding silver iodide and inter-

mittant operation. Nitrogen dioxide does not appreciably attack either

aluminum or stainless steel. It was used to compare the sensitivities

of the capacitance microphone and the piezoelectric transducer. Reac-

tive substances reportedly cause drift problems with externally biased

capacitance microphones [87]. It should be noted that neither iodine

nor NO2 is suitable for a rigorous TROAS study because neither of them

is adequately modeled by a simple two-state model.

Biacetyl (CH3COCOCH3) is an excellent compound to study because of

its unusual properties--high phosphorescence quantum yield (0.149) [88],

low triplet energy (57 Kcal/mole), high vapor pressure, and unusual

transition from small molecule behavior to large molecule behavior at

an accessible wavelength (4450 A [89], 4430 A [32]). It is a small

enough molecule to be accessible to detailed theoretical studies and

relatively easy to study since both fluorescence (from S1) and phos-

phorescence (from T1) are readily observed and spectrally distinct.

In addition, the photochemistry of biacetyl has been extensively

studied [90-91] especially by Noyes and coworkers [92-94]. It is used

routinely as a gas phase emission standard and as a triplet energy

acceptor in the study of the photochemistry of other molecules [95].

It is also known [96] that biacetyl, at pressures below 10 torr,

exhibits essentially no collisions during the lifetime of the lowest

excited singlet state 51 (T = 10-8 sec).


Among the disadvantages of using biacetyl for TROAS studies are

its reactivity, low S0 T1 oscillator strength (1.4 x 10-7 [87]), and

foul odor (rancid butter). On the whole, the advantages probably

outweigh the disadvantages insofar as TROAS is concerned.


The major components of the attempted TROAS experiments are

presented (in concise form) in rough chronological order in Table 8.

The arrangement of the components was essentially that of Figure 2

though, of course, the initial experiments were performed without the

aid of either microcomputer system or transient waveform recorder.

Consequently, the complexity of the experimental apparatus increased

(as necessary) to obtain results and eliminate interference.

The previous experiments had been performed in the near-UV (320-

420 nm) where the performance of the Phase-R DL-1200 coaxial flashlamp-

pumped dye laser was very poor, at best [47]. It was decided, therefore,

to use this system in the visible region only, where dye performance is

much better and alignment of the system is far easier. With Rhodamine

6G dye, the maximum output energy per pulse in the Phase-R system was

guaranteed to be at least 250 mJ as opposed to the obtained maximum

near-UV output of 150 pJ [47]. Poor laser performance, in general, and

low pulse energy, in particular, were felt to be the primary impediments

to successful completion of the previous work.

As mentioned in the previous chapter, the maximum energy output of

Rhodamine 6G occurs at approximately 590. nm which is almost ideal for

excitation of the lowest triplet state of dithione. In addition to

favorably placed triplet bands, dithione has a molar absorption co-

efficient of about 1.5 1 mole-cm- and a vapor pressure of about 0.5


M me =



T3 0












u S- c.


(S3 C.

.2 SD (a
r0 (a
(a -

Q-z CMa
C- :

i- CMi CMJ

c C =
o a C
r 00
o o o
r- -=
C) C) C)
r 5



0 C



m r a,
2: (D 2:

C C C,

Lr) O Ln
C) = 0
cc CO cc

r w



-- ..- -
C.- C- 0




C\j C CM C C \M C C\J

4-1 5) S
0 0 0


iS C
Vc >
O>> -
= 0

CL -

= S C)


U LO*r-
Z -
o CM
o LD C

F- : (







o i

Ci i



uin -


3 3



0. ~ ~ r 0. 0. 0. Li0 Li. 0 i L

0/ C) a) Q)ao. Qa)a. Ci (D C) a) w a)
1 1i Ci i/i i i i i Ci i i
S- -C - -

u : c s= r = r = = c r
a) Ci i i C a) C) a) a)

x ea 0 0 a 0 v I 0 Ci d 0d M



i Ci ci O ) C ) Ci cM i C ji Ci C



a) a aa)
I = I iiJ aM =C
0 i M ci = -C i n C

Ci I Li Q. 4 l C D +
i 3-IiI (T 3 *' <

'j (3cC i: '1: .



o o Co0 0 0 cc 0 30 .o c.
C C C 3 C 3 3 3





torr at 300 K. Therefore, a small quantity of solid dithione was placed

in cell #1 with the capacitance microphone (hereafter CM) connected

directly to the input of the Tracor Northern NS-570 digital signal

average. Whenever possible, samples were run at room temperature

first to see if a spectrum could be obtained. If no spectrum was ob-

tained, the cell was heated via a doubly-insulated heating tape driven

by a feedback controlled, fully proportional temperature controller.

Dithione samples were heated as high as 85. C to increase sample partial

pressure while not greatly increasing the likelihood of thermal decom-

position. Temperatures were also limited to avoid thermal depolariza-

tion of the electret microphone diaphragm and to avoid significantly

increasing the integral JFET preamplifier's thermal noise.

Samples were also usually run with air as a carrier gas in the

initial attempts with each sample since the effects of oxygen quenching

of the excited triplet would be confined to converting slow heat to

fast heat. The CM was only used with air at atmospheric pressure as

the carrier gas because it is not possible to pump down the CM without

causing diaphragm rupture as the trapped air beneath the diaphragm


Despite these limitations, initial results were encouraging (see

Figure 13). Unfortunately, the Phase-R system refused to tune or even

lase narrowband; it also suffered numerous breakdowns culminating in

the decision to switch to the Candela laser system. Additional problems

encountered during the initial experiments included sample cell cor-

rosion, possible oxygen quenching of the triplet (in an unexpected

fashion, such as excitation of the metastable la, state), possibly

inadequate low frequency response of the transducer and/or the digital

0 =



aj i-

Ia 0

U l-

C .R


o" *

2 U )
*0 0 =

C- *- aO
-' 0.
.0 3 >
0 uci

C r
0 -3 -


u '4-
aj e 0o

(0 0,


i- ci




- asJnssaJd

signal average, false triggering of the signal average by the Phase-R

generated RFI/EMI, and thermal decomposition of the dithione after

several hours in the heated cell.

While the Candela laser system was on order, the next attempt was

made using an Avco nitrogen laser-pumped dye laser equipped with elec-

tronic wavelength scanning drive. No results were obtained because the

output pulse energy (200. uJ maximum) is insufficient to produce a

pressure rise signal greater than the pressure equivalent noise level

of about 0.20 mtorr. Therefore, a xenon flashlamp (Vivitar) with

wavelength selective filters (Veb Jenaer Glaswerk Schott & Gen., Jena)

was used to provide pulse excitation of the dithione. A typical result

is shown in Figure 14. The relatively slow data acquisition rate of the

signal average (20. usec/channel minimum dwell time) and CM allowed no

conclusions to be drawn concerning the crucial initial portion of the

spectra; it was decided, therefore, to upgrade the data acquisition

system, associated electronics, sample ceil, and pressure transducer.

In addition, an Ithaco model 1391 low noise, charge preamplifier was

purchased to provide amplification for the recently acquired piezo-

electric disks and cylinders to be used as fast pressure transducers.

Lack of adequate UV optics and pulse energy measurement equipment

led to the decision to use the Candela system only in the visible

region. Dithione was once again tried in hopes of improving upon the

previous promising results. The piezoelectric transducer (hereafter PT)

was used in addition to using the CM. These experiments and the Xe

flashlamp ones previously performed were done using sample cell #2.

This cell was far easier to load, clean, heat, and mount than cell #1.

It could also be pumped dcwn for use with the PT elements. Unfortunately,





(o L))




X 3


4- U



-r- r




- ajnssaJd

no significant results were obtained despite modifications to the pre-

amplifier circuitry and heating of the sample cell. It was decided,

therefore, to conserve the small remaining reserves of dithione for a

later attempt.

The next sample substance studied was biacetyl. It was deemed a

reasonable candidate for study by TROAS techniques because of the favor-

able properties listed in Table 7 of the previous chapter. The only

anticipated problems were possibly inadequate triplet molar absorption

coefficient, possible photochemistry or decomposition, and the definite

strong rancid butter odor of biacetyl even in minute concentrations in

air. A technical grade sample was repeatedly freeze-pump-thawed (liquid

nitrogen and 10-4 torr liquid nitrogen-trapped pump) to remove dissolved

oxygen and placed in sample cell #2. The biacetyl sample exhibited its

characteristic oxygen-free phosphorescence [32]. Several experiments

were performed at room temperature using the PT and several different

excitation sources. Broadband laser excitation below the triplet (T2)

at 4430 A gave a null result. Broadband (70-100 A) excitation above

T2 resulted in excitation of the lowest excited singlet with consequent

triplet production via intersystem crossing. The result was large

amplitude oscillations superposed on a small amplitude exponential

pulse. Electronic filtering of the transducer output with an active

fourth-order Butterworth filter (equal component Sallen-Key) removed

most of the oscillatory features at the expense of the risetime of the

buried exponential waveform.

Similar results were obtained when unfiltered broadband Xe flash-

lamp excitation was employed. Triplet excitation via intersystem

crossing from the easily excited lowest singlet is achieved at light

intensities much lower than those routinely obtained with the Candela

system [97]. In fact, triplet-triplet annihilation processes become

important at low excitation source intensities [97]. Unfortunately,

the resulting TROAS spectrum cannot be interpreted without the direct

triplet excitation TROAS result unless the information it supplies is

available from other sources.

It was not possible to tune the Candela system to only excite the

triplet because it refused to tune or lase narrowband (2 A) just as the

Phase-R had. This problem was finally traced to the laser cavity

length being too short. Attempts to make the system tune with a laser

cavity of about 2/3 m were invariably unsuccessful while the system

worked perfectly with a cavity of 2 m. Alignment did not seem to be at

fault though a longer cavity must necessarily emphasize the effects of

the dispersion element (diffraction grating) and the alignment is easier.

An unexpected problem with biacetyl was its ability to dissolve

ketone-resistant "0"-rings with consequent oxygen contamination of the

degassed sample. To avoid these problems, five naphthalene and anthra-

cene derivatives were selected for study. It was hoped that the

stability and relative inertness of the compounds would enable the

experiment to proceed. The molar absorption coefficient of the

2-chloronaphthalene triplet is approximately 10-3 1 mole- cm The

other compounds studied are likely to have similar extremely small

values. It is exceptionally difficult to obtain such values by optical

means. Unfortunately, this means that the expected pressure rise from

these compounds may be below the pressure equivalent noise levels of

the system regardless of pressure transducer used. Without the molar

absorption coefficients this simply is not known. Nevertheless, the

compounds were tried for several reasons: favorable triplet lifetimes,

reasonable vapor pressures, photochemical stability, accessible triplet

states in the visible, and thermal stability.

Naphthalene was the most studied of the aromatic nydrocarbons. As

usual, the initial results were quite encouraging (Figure 15) though

incorrect because the exponential decay is independent of carrier gas

composition. This cannot be explained if the decay is actually due to

thermal reequilibration as it should be. Experiments were done at room

temperature and again at approximately 85 C. Experiments were performed

with piezoelectric transducers, electret capacitance microphone, and a

laboratory-made externally polarized capacitance microphone. Naphthalene

was run neat, with air, and with helium at pressures below 760 torr.

Although the triplet wavelengths are known from 77 K glass phase

results, they may be shifted in the gas phase. Therefore, the TROAS

experiments were carried out by manually scanning the laser from longer

wavelengths (below the triplet in energy) to shorter wavelengths (above

the triplet). The dye laser was usually scanned over about 500 A in

increments of 10 A or less.

The effect of wavelength scanning was quite unexpected. Instead

of a relatively sharp onset of the pulsed optoacoustic effect, the

acquired spectra had maximum amplitude near the dye output energy maxi-

mum. The spectra were reduced in amplitude as an extreme in the dye

gain curve was approached and invariably the spectra had become no-

signal baseline immediately prior to the laser reaching the ends of its

tuning range. This was observed with dithione (Rhodamine 6G), naphtha-

lene (Laser Dye 473), and anthracene (Kiton Red S).

Ln Q

O xl

3 0

S.- -(


*- ai
C -u
C Oa

(3) f
ae ca



S- -0



11 LW


cra -

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