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ICL-Based OF-CEAS: A Sensitive Tool for Analytical Chemistry

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Publication details

JournalAnalytical Chemistry
DateAccepted/In press - 28 Nov 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2016
DatePublished (current) - 3 Jan 2017
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)902-909
Early online date28/11/16
Original languageEnglish


Optical-feedback cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy (OF-CEAS) using mid-infrared interband cascade lasers (ICLs) is a sensitive technique for trace gas sensing. The setup of a V-shaped optical cavity operating with a 3.29 μm cw ICL is detailed, and a quantitative characterization of the injection efficiency, locking stability, mode matching, and detection sensitivity is presented. The experimental data are supported by a model to show how optical feedback affects the laser frequency as it is scanned across several longitudinal modes of the optical cavity. The model predicts that feedback enhancement effects under strongly absorbing conditions can cause underestimations in the measured absorption, and these predictions are verified experimentally. The technique is then used in application to the detection of nitrous oxide as an exemplar of the utility of this technique for analytical gas phase spectroscopy. The analytical performance of the spectrometer, expressed as noise equivalent absorption coefficient, was estimated as 4.9 × 10-9 cm -1 Hz-1/2, which compares well with recently reported values.

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