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Proceedings Paper

Further developments of capillary absorption spectrometers using small hollow-waveguide fibers
Author(s): J. F. Kelly; R. L. Sams; T. A. Blake; J. M. Kriesel
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Paper Abstract

Our objective is to enhance quantification of stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios to better than 1‰ relative isotope precision for sample sizes < 1 pico-mole. A newer variant Capillary Absorption Spectrometer (CAS) is described using a proprietary linear-taper hollow waveguide in conjunction with wavelength and frequency modulation techniques of tunable laser absorption spectrometry. Previous work used circular capillaries with uniform 1 mm ID to measure 13C/12C ratios with ≥ 20 pico-mole samples to ≤ 10 ppm (1‰ precision against standards) [1]. While performing fairly well, it generated residual modal noise due to multipath propagation in the hollow-waveguides (HWGs). This system has been utilized with laser ablation-catalytic combustion techniques to analyze small resolution (~ 25 μm spot diameter) laser ablation events on solids. Using smaller ID capillary waveguides could improve detection limits and spatial resolutions. Reducing an IR compatible hollow waveguide’s inner diameter (ID) to < 300 μm, reduces modal noise significantly for mid-IR operation, but feedback noise with high gain semiconductor lasers can become problematic. A proprietary linear-taper small waveguide (mean ID = 0.35 mm, L = 1 m) was tested to understand whether modal noise and optical feedback effects could be simultaneously reduced. We see better mode filtering and, significant reductions of feedback noise under favorable coupling of a multi-spatial mode QC laser to the smaller ID of the linear-tapered HWG. We demonstrate that better modal coupling operation is consistent with Liouville’s theorem, where greater suppression of feedback from spurious scatter within the HWG occurs by injecting the laser into the smaller ID port. Our progress on developing lighter weight, potentially fieldable alternatives to Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometers (IRMS) with a small volume (≤ 0.1 cm3) CAS system will be discussed and compared to other competitive systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 January 2014
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 8993, Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices XI, 89931O (31 January 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2042734
Show Author Affiliations
J. F. Kelly, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
R. L. Sams, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
T. A. Blake, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
J. M. Kriesel, Opto Knowledge Systems, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8993:
Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices XI
Manijeh Razeghi; Eric Tournié; Gail J. Brown, Editor(s)

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