Abstract

A new method for measuring the thickness of a micrometer-thin water film on ice is presented. The method is based on confocal detection of fluorescence light, emitted by a special coumarin dye dissolved in ice as well as in water. The spectral position of the fluorescence maximum depends strongly on the matrix surrounding the dye molecules. Thus the analysis of the spectra obtained while the focal position perpendicular to the liquid–ice interface is scanned provides the possibility of measuring the thickness of the water film with the vertical resolution of the confocal system. We demonstrate this principle by a model system.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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