Optical output stabilization method for direct current arc lamps

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A simple, effective technique for stabilizing the optical output of direct current (dc) arc lamps is described. The large output fluctuation due to arc wander in a commercially available lamp and power supply is minimized by the introduction of an alternating current (ac) waveform superimposed on the dc source voltage in conjunction with detector averaging. Arc stability is monitored indirectly by the detection of arc excited fluorescence from a standard sample. The monitored lamp output is typically maintained to within 1% relative standard deviation (RSD) by this method. Data are presented supporting the theory that arc wander is significantly reduced by the addition of an ac component to the dc lamp power. Various methods of ac introduction are discussed along with the design of a controllable oscillator circuit. The effects of variations in ac voltage and frequency on optical output stability are examined.

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Review of Scientific Instruments

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