Measurement of Absorption Coefficient of Paraformaldehyde and Metaldehyde with Terahertz Spectroscopy
The characteristic absorption spectra of paraformaldehyde and metaldehyde in the terahertz frequency region are obtained by terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS). In order to reduce the absorption of terahertz (THz) wave by water vapor in the air and the background noise, the measurement system was filled with dry air and the measurements were conducted at the temperature of 24°C. Meanwhile, the humidity was controlled within 10% RH. The THz frequency domain spectra of samples and their references from 0 to 2.5 THz were analyzed via Fourier transform. The refractive index and absorption coefficients of the two aldehydes were calculated by the model formulas. From 0.1 to 2.5 THz, there appear two weak absorption peaks at 1.20 and 1.66 THz in the absorption spectra of paraformaldehyde. Only one distinct absorption peak emerges at 1.83 THz for metaldehyde. There are significant differences between the terahertz absorption coefficients of paraformaldehyde and metaldehyde, which can be used as "fingerprints" to identify these substances. Furthermore, the relationship between the average absorption coefficients and mass concentrations was investigated and the average absorption coefficient–mass concentration diagrams of paraformaldehyde and metaldehyde were shown. For paraformaldehyde, there is a linear relationship between the average absorption coefficient and the natural logarithm of mass concentration. For metaldehyde, there exists a simpler linear relationship between the average absorption coefficient and the mass concentration. Because of the characteristics of THz absorption of paraformaldehyde and metaldehyde, the THz-TDS can be applied to the qualitative and quantitative detection of the two aldehydes to reduce the unpredictable hazards due to these substances.
Keywordschemical safety terahertz time-domain spectroscopy chemical identification paraformaldehyde metaldehyde absorption coefficient
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