An apparatus to measure linear thermal expansion
of various specimens using three terminal capacitance
technique has been designed and constructed. The
measurement is controlled by a DAI microcomputer
through an industrial rack interface which monitors
all aspects of the experimental control and measurement
over a 3–4 days period required for each experiment.
All interfaces were "in house" designed and built and
all control software was custom designed. Early experiments
using an adapted Michelson interferometer method
confirmed that the three terminal capacitance dilatometer can
be used with confidence under specific
experimental conditions and suitable guidelines were
produced for their use.
The apparatus has been used to measure the thermal expansion of several materials including Cr-doped
GaAs and amorphous arsenic.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.