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Capillary circular dichroism

The recent focus of my research has been the design of low volume circular dichroism cells that will be of great utility to the biological research community.  Standard CD cells are quite crude in their optics, the alignment of the components done carried out under very wide margins of error.  In order to acquire high quality spectra it has therefore been necessary to rebuild the optical path for the light beam to accommodate precision optics which can give the user the tightly focussed light beam that is required.

UV optical materials

One of the barriers to the utility of UV polarised spectroscopy is the difficulty in transmission at the high energy area of the spectrum.  UV light, although it is fairly high energy does not have the penetrating power of Gamma or X-rays.  Instead most media are very absorptive in this region, leading to great difficulties to getting large numbers of photons through a sample. 

Currently we are investigating different grades of fused silica as material for optical transmission.  We have focussed on this material due to it being less brittle than CaF2 and with the potential to be polished to a very high level of flatness.  The potential for flatness aids in minimising the optical    

Fibre optic CD      

I am fascinated by the potential of fibre optics as a means of carrying and focussing UV light for use in circular dichroism spectroscopy.