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Proceedings Paper

Spectroscopic detection of methane using a portable room-temperature mid-IR laser source based on guided-wave difference-frequency generation
Author(s): Douglas J. Bamford; Max Loewenstein; Hansjuerg Jost; David J. Cook
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Paper Abstract

We demonstrate a new tunable mid-IR laser source based on the guided-wave frequency conversion of two diode lasers operating in the near-infrared. Important features of this laser source include portability, room-temperature operation, freedom from thermal cycling, smooth tunability, and modular construction using readily available components. The source, when fully optimized, will maintain the properties which have made lead-salt lasers so useful for atmospheric trace gas detection, including sub-Doppler linewidths, microwatt-level output powers, and amenability to detection techniques based on frequency modulation. We describe the design and construction of the laser source, including its key component: a waveguide fabricated in periodically poled lithium niobate. In addition, we present a laboratory absorption spectrum which illustrates the potential usefulness of this laser source for the detection of atmospheric methane. Difficulties encountered when making the transition from a laboratory tabletop device to a portable device are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 September 2002
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4817, Diode Lasers and Applications in Atmospheric Sensing, (23 September 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.453731
Show Author Affiliations
Douglas J. Bamford, Physical Sciences, Inc. (United States)
Max Loewenstein, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Hansjuerg Jost, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
David J. Cook, Physical Sciences Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4817:
Diode Lasers and Applications in Atmospheric Sensing
Alan Fried, Editor(s)

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