Abstract

A novel spectropolarimeter, based on modification of an ordinary, inexpensive, multiwavelength ultraviolet (UV)–visible–near-infrared (NIR) spectrophotometer, is described and applied to the determination of sucrose, sucrose inversion, and enantiomeric composition of solutions of (<i>R</i>)-(+)-limonene and (<i>S</i>)-(−)-limonene. The instrument has no moving parts, and optical rotation measurements are encoded as an apparent absorbance. Apparent absorbance measurements can be combined with multivariate statistical analysis over a wide spectral range, and a background correction technique that employs the sample as its own blank provides an effective means of correcting for the presence of chromophores that also absorb over the wavelengths of interest. The instrument was tested against an ordinary polarimeter and showed good performance with both colorless and colored samples.

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