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Optical Engineering

Application of quantum cascade lasers to high-precision atmospheric trace gas measurements
Author(s): J. Barry McManus; Mark S. Zahniser; David D. Nelson; Joanne H. Shorter; Scott C. Herndon; Ezra C. Wood; Rick Wehr
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Paper Abstract

We review our recent results in development of high-precision laser spectroscopic instrumentation using midinfrared quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). Some of these instruments have been directed at measurements of atmospheric trace gases where a fractional precision of 10−;3 or better of ambient concentration may be required. Such high precision is needed in measurements of fluxes of stable atmospheric gases and measurements of isotopic ratios. Instruments that are based on thermoelectrically cooled midinfrared QCLs and thermoelectrically cooled detectors have been demonstrated that meet the requirements of high-precision atmospheric measurements, without the need for cryogens. We also describe the design of and results from a new dual QCL instrument with a 200-m path-length absorption cell. This instrument has demonstrated 1-s noise of 32 ppt for formaldehyde (HCHO) and 9 ppt for carbonyl sulfide (OCS).

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Opt. Eng. 49(11) 111124 doi: 10.1117/1.3498782
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 49, Issue 11
Show Author Affiliations
J. Barry McManus, Aerodyne Research, Inc. (United States)
Mark S. Zahniser, Aerodyne Research, Inc. (United States)
David D. Nelson, Aerodyne Research, Inc. (United States)
Joanne H. Shorter, Aerodyne Research, Inc. (United States)
Scott C. Herndon, Aerodyne Research, Inc. (United States)
Ezra C. Wood, Aerodyne Research, Inc. (United States)
Rick Wehr, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)

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