Abstract

A novel refractive-index detection scheme used for capillary electrophoresis detection, based on the interference of two retroreflected beams from the outer surface of a capillary tube illuminated by a focused laser beam, is described. A theoretical description and experimental measurement of the intensity profile of the interference fringe pattern in the detection plane are presented. The factors that limit the sensitivity of the proposed refractive-index detection scheme are discussed and compared with the transmitted beam interference and backscatter-based refractive-index detection configurations. The proposed refractive-index detector was used successfully for detection of capillary electrophoresis separations of saccharose, maltose, and lactose with a capillary tube of 50-μm inner diameter and a simple experimental setup.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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