Sensitive trace gas detection with cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy using a continuous wave external-cavity quantum cascade laser

van Helden, J. H.; Lang, N.; Macherius, U.; Zimmermann, H.; Röpcke, J.
September 2013
Applied Physics Letters;9/23/2013, Vol. 103 Issue 13, p131114
Academic Journal
Trace gas sensing in the mid-infrared using quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) promises high specificity and sensitivity. We report on the performance of a simple cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy (CEAS) sensor using a continuous wave external-cavity QCL at 7.4 μm. A noise-equivalent absorption coefficient αmin of 2.6 × 10-8 cm-1 in 625 s was achieved, which corresponds to a detection limit of 6 ± 1 ppb of CH4 in 15 millibars air for the R(3) transition at 1327.074 cm-1. This is the highest value of noise-equivalent absorption and among the longest effective path length (1780 m) reported to date with QCL-based CEAS.


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