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Proceedings Paper

Design and performance of a sensor system for detection of multiple chemicals using an external cavity quantum cascade laser
Author(s): Mark C. Phillips; Matthew S. Taubman; Bruce E. Bernacki; Bret D. Cannon; John T. Schiffern; Tanya L. Myers
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Paper Abstract

We describe the performance of a sensor system designed for simultaneous detection of multiple chemicals with both broad and narrow absorption features. The sensor system consists of a broadly tunable external cavity quantum cascade laser (ECQCL), multi-pass Herriott cell, and custom low-noise electronics. The ECQCL features a fast wavelength tuning rate of 2265 cm-1/s (15660 nm/s) over the range of 1150-1270 cm-1 (7.87-8.70 μm), which permits detection of molecules with broad absorption features and dynamic concentrations, while the 0.2 cm-1 spectral resolution of the ECQCL system allows measurement of small molecules with atmospherically broadened absorption lines. High-speed amplitude modulation and low-noise electronics are used to improve the ECQCL performance for direct absorption measurements. We demonstrate simultaneous detection of Freon-134a (1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane), ammonia (NH3), and nitrous oxide (N2O) at low-ppb concentrations in field measurements of atmospheric chemical releases from a point source.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 January 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7608, Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices VII, 76080D (23 January 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.842120
Show Author Affiliations
Mark C. Phillips, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Matthew S. Taubman, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Bruce E. Bernacki, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Bret D. Cannon, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
John T. Schiffern, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Tanya L. Myers, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7608:
Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices VII
Manijeh Razeghi; Rengarajan Sudharsanan; Gail J. Brown, Editor(s)

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