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The invention concerns measurements in which light interacts with matter to generate light intensity changes, and spectrophotometer devices of the invention provide ultrasensitive measurements. Light source noise in these measurements can be reduced in accordance with the invention. Exemplary embodiments of the invention use sealed housings lacking an internal light source. In some embodiments a substantially solid thermally conductive housing is used. Other embodiments include particular reflection based sample and reference cells. One embodiment includes a prism including an interaction surface, a detector, a lens that focuses a prism beam output onto the detector, and a closed interaction volume for delivering gas or liquid to the interaction surface. Another embodiment replaces a prism with a reflective surface. Another embodiment replaces a prism with a scattering matte surface. Aspects of the invention identify noise-contributing components in spectrophotometry and realize noise levels very near the shot noise limit.
The Curators of the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Larsen, David W. and Xu, Zhi, "Ultrasensitive Spectrophotometer" (2007). UMSL Patents. 59.