Use of an optical multichannel analyzer for reflectivity measurements
Moroney, David T.
Cleary, David D.
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Current theories that attempt to explain the emission and reflection properties of metallic surfaces still provide some room for conjecture and alternative concepts. This is true particularly for processes in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. One relatively new theory that has recently received increases attention and support is that of the "Native cluster" model. The model proposes that metallic surfaces are populated with small groups of atoms that have been liberated from the crystalline lattice structure of the bulk metal. These colloids possess dielectric qualities that act to modify basic properties of the parent material, such as polarizability, electrical conductivity, thermal emission, and luminescence. While proof of luminescence from metallic surfaces would not significantly detract from existing free electron and quantum theory, it would tend to support the "Native cluster" model. Due to its reflectivity characteristics, copper was selected as the metal to be studied in this research. One instrument that is well suited for the collection of reflectivity and emission data is the Optical Multichannel Analyzer. Although a powerful tool for spectral research, the requirement of a significant initial investment of time necessary to gain sufficient user familiarity to become proficient with the equipment has resulted in the instrument being underutilized. Therefore, in addition to the primary aim of this research in evaluating the ability of a polished copper surface to luminescence, a secondary aim was to evaluate the characteristics and applicability of this instrument to support the luminescence research. The results of this research were the development of user friendly checklists for basic operations of the OMA III, a determination of error sources due to experimental equipment and procedures, the magnitude of those errors, substantiation of the results by reproducing known metallic reflectivity data, and the collection of data indicating the possible existence of luminescence from a copper surface.
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