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Title: Measurement of the Index of Refraction of Solids by UV-Vis Spectroscopy

Abstract

The refractive index (n) of a liquid is commonly measured in the chemistry laboratory using a refracrometer at a single wavelength (589 nm) and temperature (20 degrees C). The refractive index of a solid material is sometimes estimated by index matching to known liquids; when a solid ''disappears'' in a liquid medium, it is assumed to have the same index of refraction as the surrounding liquid. In both cases students may miss the fact that ''n'' is actually not just a single number, but rather a function of wavelength and temperature. In this laboratory, we employ UV-vis transmission spectra to obtain the dispersion curve (i.e., refractive index vs wavelength) of a solid material using a well-characterized organic solvent as a reference compound. While there are many experiments in the chemical education literature concerning the measurement and use of refractive index (3-6), we are unaware of any that employ the spectroscopic method used here. This exercise is most appropriate for use in the upper-division undergraduate physical chemistry lab, but could also be used in sophomore-level organic and analytical chemistry labs.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [1]
  1. ASSOC WESTERN UNIVERSITY
  2. BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)
  3. University of Great Falls
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab., Richland, WA (US) (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
15005815
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-39822
KC0201050; TRN: US200324%%228
DOE Contract Number:  
AC06-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Chemical Education
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 79; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: PBD: 1 May 2002
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ORGANIC SOLVENTS; REFRACTIVE INDEX; SPECTROSCOPY; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION; VISIBLE RADIATION; SOLIDS

Citation Formats

Bozlee, Brian J, Exarhos, Gregory J, Jimenez, Aida E, and Van Swam, Simone L. Measurement of the Index of Refraction of Solids by UV-Vis Spectroscopy. United States: N. p., 2002. Web.
Bozlee, Brian J, Exarhos, Gregory J, Jimenez, Aida E, & Van Swam, Simone L. Measurement of the Index of Refraction of Solids by UV-Vis Spectroscopy. United States.
Bozlee, Brian J, Exarhos, Gregory J, Jimenez, Aida E, and Van Swam, Simone L. Wed . "Measurement of the Index of Refraction of Solids by UV-Vis Spectroscopy". United States.
@article{osti_15005815,
title = {Measurement of the Index of Refraction of Solids by UV-Vis Spectroscopy},
author = {Bozlee, Brian J and Exarhos, Gregory J and Jimenez, Aida E and Van Swam, Simone L},
abstractNote = {The refractive index (n) of a liquid is commonly measured in the chemistry laboratory using a refracrometer at a single wavelength (589 nm) and temperature (20 degrees C). The refractive index of a solid material is sometimes estimated by index matching to known liquids; when a solid ''disappears'' in a liquid medium, it is assumed to have the same index of refraction as the surrounding liquid. In both cases students may miss the fact that ''n'' is actually not just a single number, but rather a function of wavelength and temperature. In this laboratory, we employ UV-vis transmission spectra to obtain the dispersion curve (i.e., refractive index vs wavelength) of a solid material using a well-characterized organic solvent as a reference compound. While there are many experiments in the chemical education literature concerning the measurement and use of refractive index (3-6), we are unaware of any that employ the spectroscopic method used here. This exercise is most appropriate for use in the upper-division undergraduate physical chemistry lab, but could also be used in sophomore-level organic and analytical chemistry labs.},
doi = {},
journal = {Journal of Chemical Education},
number = 5,
volume = 79,
place = {United States},
year = {2002},
month = {5}
}