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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 43, Iss. 11 — Apr. 10, 2004
  • pp: 2257–2266

Mid-Infrared Quantum Cascade Laser Based Off-Axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy for Biogenic Nitric Oxide Detection

Yury A. Bakhirkin, Anatoliy A. Kosterev, Chad Roller, Robert F. Curl, and Frank K. Tittel  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 43, Issue 11, pp. 2257-2266 (2004)

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Tunable-laser absorption spectroscopy in the mid-IR spectral region is a sensitive analytical technique for trace-gas quantification. The detection of nitric oxide (NO) in exhaled breath is of particular interest in the diagnosis of lower-airway inflammation associated with a number of lung diseases and illnesses. A gas analyzer based on a continuous-wave mid-IR quantum cascade laser operating at ~5.2 μm and on off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy (ICOS) has been developed to measure NO concentrations in human breath. A compact sample cell, 5.3 cm in length and with a volume of <80 cm<sup>3</sup>, that is suitable for on-line and off-line measurements during a single breath cycle, has been designed and tested. A noise-equivalent (signal-to-noise ratio of 1) sensitivity of 10 parts in 10<sup>9</sup> by volume (ppbv) of NO was achieved. The combination of ICOS with wavelength modulation resulted in a 2-ppbv noise-equivalent sensitivity. The total data acquisition and averaging time was 15 s in both cases. The feasibility of detecting NO in expired human breath as a potential noninvasive medical diagnostic tool is discussed.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.1430) General : Biology and medicine
(140.5960) Lasers and laser optics : Semiconductor lasers
(170.4580) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical diagnostics for medicine
(280.3420) Remote sensing and sensors : Laser sensors
(300.6340) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, infrared

Yury A. Bakhirkin, Anatoliy A. Kosterev, Chad Roller, Robert F. Curl, and Frank K. Tittel, "Mid-Infrared Quantum Cascade Laser Based Off-Axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy for Biogenic Nitric Oxide Detection," Appl. Opt. 43, 2257-2266 (2004)

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