With spectroscopic ellipsometry one can measure the real and imaginary parts of the refractive index of a medium simultaneously. To determine this index in the infrared for a number of technical liquids, use was made of attenuated total internal reflection at the glass–liquid interface of a specially designed prism. This attenuated total reflection approach warrants minimal signal loss and is, for strongly absorbing liquids, the only way to measure the complex refractive index. A surprising phenomenon, observed when BK-7 prism glass was used, is scattering in the vicinity of the absorption wavelengths of the glass. A simple model that can be used to describe the relations among absorption, scattering, and depolarization was successfully used to correct the measurements. Refractive indices for demineralized water, Freon 113, heptane, benzene, gas oil, and crude oil in the wave number range from 5000 to 10,000 cm−1 (1–2 μm) are presented.
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