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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 24 — Nov. 21, 2011
  • pp: 24037–24045

Ppb-level detection of nitric oxide using an external cavity quantum cascade laser based QEPAS sensor

Lei Dong, Vincenzo Spagnolo, Rafał Lewicki, and Frank K. Tittel  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 24, pp. 24037-24045 (2011)

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Geometrical parameters of micro-resonator for a quartz enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy sensor are optimized to perform sensitive and background-free spectroscopic measurements using mid-IR quantum cascade laser (QCL) excitation sources. Such an optimized configuration is applied to nitric oxide (NO) detection at 1900.08 cm−1 (5.26 µm) with a widely tunable, mode-hop-free external cavity QCL. For a selected NO absorption line that is free from H2O and CO2 interference, a NO detection sensitivity of 4.9 parts per billion by volume is achieved with a 1-s averaging time and 66 mW optical excitation power. This NO detection limit is determined at an optimal gas pressure of 210 Torr and 2.5% of water vapor concentration. Water is added to the analyzed mixture in order to improve the NO vibrational-translational relaxation process.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(140.3070) Lasers and laser optics : Infrared and far-infrared lasers
(280.3420) Remote sensing and sensors : Laser sensors
(300.6390) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, molecular

ToC Category:
Remote Sensing

Original Manuscript: September 7, 2011
Revised Manuscript: October 22, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: October 27, 2011
Published: November 10, 2011

Lei Dong, Vincenzo Spagnolo, Rafał Lewicki, and Frank K. Tittel, "Ppb-level detection of nitric oxide using an external cavity quantum cascade laser based QEPAS sensor," Opt. Express 19, 24037-24045 (2011)

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