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Following interfacial kinetics in real time using broadband evanescent wave cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy: a comparison of light-emitting diodes and supercontinuum sources

van der Sneppen L, Hancock G, Kaminski CF, Laurila T, Mackenzie SR, Neil SRT, Peverall , Ritchie GAD, Schnippering M, Unwin PR, "Following interfacial kinetics in real time using broad-band evanescent-wave cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy: A comparison of light-emitting diodes and supercontinuum sources", Analyst 135 (1): 133-139, 2010, DOI: 10.1039/B916712A | pdf


A white light-emitting diode (LED) with emission between 420 and 700 nm and a supercontinuum (SC) source with emission between 450 and 2500 nm have been compared for use in evanescent wave broadband cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy (EW-BB-CEAS). The method is calibrated using a dye with known absorbance. While the LED is more economic as an excitation source, the SC source is superior both in terms of baseline noise (noise equivalent absorbances lower than 105 compared to 104 absorbance units (a.u.)) and accuracy of the measurement; these baseline noise levels are comparable to evanescent wave cavity ringdown spectroscopy (EW-CRDS) studies while the accessible spectral region of EW-BB-CEAS is much larger (420–750 nm in this study, compared to several tens of nanometres for EW-CRDS). The improvements afforded by the use of an SC source in combination with a high sensitivity detector are demonstrated in the broadband detection of electrogenerated Ir(IV) complexes in a thin-layer electrochemical cell arrangement. Excellent signal to noise is achieved with 10 ms signal accumulation times at a repetition rate of 600 Hz, easily fast enough to follow, in real time, solution kinetics and interfacial processes.