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Keywords:

  • time-resolved spectroscopy;
  • polarization artifacts;
  • photo elastic modulator

Abstract

Linear dichroism and birefringence artifacts are a major source of concern in transient circular dichroism measurements. They mainly arise from interaction of an imperfectly circular polarized probe beam with a nonisotropic sample. We present in this article a procedure to generate mid-IR pulses of highly symmetric left and right handed circular or elliptical polarization states for transient VCD measurements. An infrared femtosecond laser source is synchronized to the natural frequency of a photo elastic modulator. Residual static birefringence of the modulator and the sample cell can be largely compensated by carefully controlling the arrival time of the ultrashort probe pulses at the modulator. Chirality 21:E298–E306, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.