Polystyrene and many other materials turn yellow when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. All photodegradation mechanisms including photoyellowing are functions of the exposure wavelength, which can be described with an action spectrum. In this work, a new high-resolution transmittance measurement setup based on lasers has been developed for measuring color changes, such as the photoyellowing of translucent materials aged with a spectrograph. The measurement setup includes 14 power-stabilized laser lines between 325 nm and 933 nm wavelengths, of which one at a time is directed on to the aged sample. The power transmitted through the sample is measured with a silicon detector utilizing an integrating sphere. The sample is mounted on a high-resolution XY translation stage. Measurement at various locations aged with different wavelengths of exposure radiation gives the transmittance data required for acquiring the action spectrum. The combination of a UV spectrograph and the new high-resolution transmittance measurement setup enables a novel method for studying the UV-induced ageing of translucent materials with a spectral resolution of 3-8 nm, limited by the adjustable spectral bandwidth range of the spectrograph. These achievements form a significant improvement over earlier methods.
Vaskuri, A., Kärhä, P., Heikkilä, A., & Ikonen, E. (2015). High-resolution setup for measuring wavelength sensitivity of photoyellowing of translucent materials. Review of Scientific Instruments, 86(10), . https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4931682