Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Dennis K. Killinger, Ph.D.


Water fluorescence, Laser-induced fluorescence, Reverse osmosis, Water quality monitoring, Online real time reagentless system


A UV Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) system, previously developed in our laboratory, was modified and used for a series of applications related to the development and optimization of UV LIF spectroscopic measurements of trace contaminants in drinking water and other water sources. Fluorescence spectra of a number of water samples were studied, including those related to the reverse osmosis water treatment and membrane fouling, domestic and international drinking water, industrial toxins, bacterial spores, as well as several fluorescence standards. Of importance was that the long term detection of the trace level of Dissolved Organic Compounds (DOC) was measured, for the first time to our knowledge, over a one week period and with a time resolution of 2.5 minutes. A comparison of LIF emission using both 266 nm and 355 nm excitation was also made for the first time. Such real-time and continuous measurements are important for future water treatment control.

The LIF system was modified to accommodate UV Light Emitting Diodes (LED) as alternative excitation sources, and tested for the detection of trace organic species in water. In addition, a compact system using LED excitation and a spectrometer was xviii developed and underwent initial testing. The original LIF system had two laser sources, 266 nm and 355 nm. The additional sources incorporated in the system were UV LEDs emitting at 265 nm, 300 nm, 335 nm and 355 nm. The LED spectral emission was studied in detail, in terms of spectral variability and power output. It was found that all LEDs had some emission in the visible spectrum, and an optical filter was used to remove it. The signal-to-noise ratio for the LED-based systems was determined and compared with that of the LIF system. The fluorescent signal of the LED-based system was smaller by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude, despite the fact that the LED pulse energy was 2 to 3 orders of magnitude less than the laser's.

As such, the fluorescent signal from the LED was greater than expected. Therefore, a UV LED may be a compact and much cheaper optical source for future water measurement instruments.