Letter | Published:

A Sensitive Chemical Actinometer for Ultra-violet Radiation

Nature volume 204, pages 676678 (14 November 1964) | Download Citation

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Abstract

THE most widely used chemical actinometer for ultraviolet radiation is based on the photochemical decomposition of oxalic acid in solutions of oxalic acid and urany 1 oxalate, and subsequent titration with hot potassium permanganate1. This actinometer requires relatively large volumes of solution, and since the ultimate sensitivity depends on the titration difference before and after irradiation, ultra-violet sources of low dose-rate require relatively long exposure times. Actinometers in which the products of photolysis are directly determined are capable of greater sensitivity, depending on the sensitivity of the method used for analysis. Direct spectrophotometry, with high absorption of the photolysis products, introduces problems of inner filters and non-linearity of response. Parker2 has devised a chemical actinometer with high sensitivity which depends on the decomposition of potassium ferrioxalate, spectrophotometric determination of the ferrous ion formed by the addition of phenanthroline and buffer solution, and subsequent measurement of absorption at 5100 Å. However, even dim electric light produces rapid decomposition of the potassium ferrioxalate, and all manipulations must be performed in a dark room.

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References

  1. 1.

    , The Chemical Aspects of Light (Oxford University Press, London, 1946).

  2. 2.

    , Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 220, 104 (1953).

  3. 3.

    , and , Nature, 182, 747 (1958).

  4. 4.

    , and , Radiation Research, 16, 4 (1962).

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, New York.

    • HAROLD MOROSON
    •  & ANASTASIA GREGORIADES

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/204676a0

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