CaF2 – an ideal substrate material for infrared spectroscopy?

in: Analytical Chemistry (2020)
Mayerhöfer, Thomas G.; Pahlow, Susanne; Hübner, Uwe; Popp, Jürgen
CaF2 seems to be the ideal substrate material for organic and biological layers, since its refractive index is very similar to that of these materials. As a consequence of this similarity, the baseline is nearly flat and does not show notable interference fringes. Nevertheless, as absorption is always accompanied by changes of the refractive index, the refractive indices of substrate and layer can substantially deviate around absorption bands. As a consequence, changes in band intensity, shape and position result, which aggravate a correct interpretation of the spectra. For layers with thicknesses between 1 and 2 microns, we show experimentally, that deviations from the Beer-Lambert law of up to ± 10 % occur. Calculations reveal that for thinner layers these deviations are even higher. These results suggest the application of a wave-optics based formalism to correct the deviations. We introduce such a formalism and prove that it is able to remove the errors. In addition, it also corrects band shape and position changes.

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