Journal of Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz Waves

, Volume 31, Issue 9, pp 1015–1021 | Cite as

Temperature-Dependent Terahertz Spectroscopy of Liquid n-alkanes



We describe measurements of the terahertz dielectric properties of normal alkanes. We study all of the liquid alkanes from pentane (C5) to hexadecane (C16) over the temperature range from 20–80°C, and obtain the absorption coefficients and refractive indices in the spectral range from 0.1 to 2.5 THz (3–83 cm−1). The mean molecular polarizability is found to vary linearly with chain length at all temperatures, indicating that an additive model for polarizability, with distinct contributions from the methylene groups and the methyl end groups, provides an accurate description. The absorption coefficients of these non-polar liquids, arising from transient induced dipoles, are essentially featureless in this spectral range, with an almost linear dependence on frequency and negligible temperature dependence. These results provide a baseline for far infrared spectroscopic studies of inter-molecular interactions in non-polar hydrocarbons.


Alkane Terahertz 



This work has been supported in part by the R. A. Welch Foundation, by the University of Alberta through the Alberta Innovates Technology Futures program, and by Shell International Exploration and Production, Inc.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical & Computer EngineeringRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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