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Far Infrared Beamline

Project Description

This beamline is part of the Canadian Consortium for Synchrotron InfraRed Spectroscopy, a co-ordinated plan for development of infrared synchrotron capabilities in Canada. It is one of three infrared beamlines approved for the Canadian Light Source. This line is primarily intended for fundamental spectroscopy studies of gases in the far infrared region in the tradition of the Herzberg Institute of the National Research Council of Canada.

The far infrared (FIR) beamline will be used for ultra-high spectral resolution studies of gas phase molecules and clusters, as well as for high spatial resolution studies of condensed phase samples such as surface features, optoelectronic devices, and high-pressure materials. The FIR region, from about 10 to 100 microns wavelength (or 50 to 1000 cm-1 inverse wavelength), is a scientific "last frontier" where measurements are considerably more difficult than at longer or shorter wavelengths. The main reason for these difficulties is the weakness of ordinary thermal sources of FIR continuum light. The CLS far infrared beamline will be more than 100 times brighter than conventional sources. It will be equipped with a Fourier transform spectrometer which can deliver ultra-high spectral resolution (better than 0.001 wavenumbers) for gas phase studies, while also operating efficiently at medium resolution for condensed phase studies. The scientific areas to be investigated with the FIR beamline include:


  • Intramolecular energy transfer and internal rotation
  • Intermolecular forces, weakly-bound complexes, and clusters
  • Molecular ions and free radicals
  • Carbon chain molecules and laboratory astrophysics


  • Very high pressure (diamond anvil cell) samples
  • Adsorbates and ultrathin organic films
  • Characterization of microstructures and devices

last changed: 06-Sep-00 (adft)