Integrating sphere and polarization kit for advanced paper and nanocomposite research
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
This proposal is requesting support for the acquisition of a 100 mm InGaAs integrating sphere and a polarizer/depolarizer kit to upgrade our existing Perkin Elmer Lambda 750 UV-Visible-NIR spectrophotometer system in the Advanced Sustainable Materials laboratory and extend our research into innovative paper-based materials and nanocomposites, featured in national and local media this past fall (UPI, KNKX, UWNews…). Currently, we are limited to conducting absorption or transmittance measurements of liquid samples, which hinders our progress for transparent nanocomposites and smart papers that show great potential for applications in a large variety of fields, including but not limited to biomedical, wearable devices, and optoelectronics. As a group of nanotechnology focused students, it is imperative that we are able to accurately characterize our samples with minimal preparation in order to thoroughly understand the intrinsic properties of the newly developed nanomaterials. The advantages associated with the addition of these accessories to our Lambda 750 are threefold: (i) expend our analytical capabilities and allow for high precision diffuse and specular reflectance and scattered transmittance measurements; (ii) significantly improve instrument performance by minimizing errors and non homogeneities; (iii) extend the range of samples that may be analyzed to virtually any liquid or solid, including oriented materials such as fibrous structures. This new upgraded system is extremely versatile, which would allow for increased collaboration and cross-disciplinary research and education amongst departments. Besides characterizing the optical properties of nanomaterials, this upgraded system would also be very compelling for the determination of food and soil constituents, the measurement of dye concentration in textiles, the analysis of ink and solar cells to name a few.