Abstract

The absorption spectrum of gaseous 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) was recorded by conventional absorption spectroscopy (AS) as well as cavity ringdown spectroscopy (CRDS) methods in the spectral regions 195-300 and 225-235 nm, respectively. These spectra were normalized by using the saturated TNT vapor-number density for the measured cell temperature to obtain the absorption cross section of TNT. No spectral features were found in the spectra; this result is consistent with a repulsive electronic excited state of TNT. The temperature dependence of the absorption coefficient of saturated TNT vapor was measured within the temperature range 5-110 °C. The limit of detection of TNT vapor by CRDS is less than 1 ppb. Real-time CRDS measurements of the TNT vapor density at 21 and 37 °C are presented. The TNT evaporation rates were found to be 7 × 10<sup>8</sup> and 4 × 10<sup>10</sup> molecules/cm<sup>2</sup> × s at 21 and 37 °C, respectively.

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