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I have a 2 mm piece of UV transparent acrylic sheet. The datasheet defines it as 80% transparent at 300 nm. However, when I use it with different temperatures (4-50°C), the transmittance characteristics are totally different. It is much more transparent at higher temperatures.

Does anyone know if this is true - that the light transmittance of acrylic varies with temperature? And what might be the reason?

To be more specific, I am interested in the 250-600 nm wavelength range.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, most likely someone somewhere has studied this and knows whether it is true or not. $\endgroup$ Jul 8 '16 at 11:25
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I'm tempted to say that you've measured this change, so what's the question here, but there are a couple things you can do to validate your tests. Most important: run your source & detector in exactly the same setup but without the acrylic sheet in place, and see if the response varies with temperature. You want to be sure that only the sheet is causing the observed change.

After that, there are less critical things to check: is your source polarized? Does the sheet move at all as the temperature changes? Acrylics often have stress lines which affect the polarization of light passing thru them.

And of course, do the deepest Google search you can for info or tech papers on thermal sensitivity of acrylics.

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