Abstract

Optical rotation (OR) polarimeters measure only the OR of a linearly polarized wave vector caused by the optical activity of the measured material. Such polarimeters are used to detect optically active materials and measure their concentration. Here we describe a novel type of high-resolution OR polarimeter. The new polarimeter is a compact device, based on a combination of two novel mechanisms: a referencing mechanism and an optical signal-gain mechanism. The patented referencing mechanism allows accurate measurements of small ORs in the presence of considerable polarization noise. The current limit of detection of the polarimeter is 20 micro-degrees, which we believe can be lowered further. The polarimeter is intended to serve as an add-on detector for existing high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems in the pharmaceutical industry. The need for such a polarimeter, its optical setup, analysis of its performance, and experimental results are hereby given and discussed.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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