Applied Physics B

, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 367-376

Application of mid-infrared cavity-ringdown spectroscopy to trace explosives vapor detection using a broadly tunable (6–8 μm) optical parametric oscillator

  • M.W. ToddAffiliated withPicarro, Inc., 1050 E. Duane Ave., Suite H, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA
  • , R.A. ProvencalAffiliated withPicarro, Inc., 1050 E. Duane Ave., Suite H, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA
  • , T.G. OwanoAffiliated withPicarro, Inc., 1050 E. Duane Ave., Suite H, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA
  • , B.A. PaldusAffiliated withPicarro, Inc., 1050 E. Duane Ave., Suite H, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA
  • , A. KachanovAffiliated withPicarro, Inc., 1050 E. Duane Ave., Suite H, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA
  • , K.L. VodopyanovAffiliated withPicarro, Inc., 1050 E. Duane Ave., Suite H, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA
  • , M. HunterAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry and G.R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
  • , S.L. CoyAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry and G.R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
  • , J.I. SteinfeldAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry and G.R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    • , J.T. ArnoldAffiliated withVarian Medical Systems, Ginzton Technology Center, Mountain View, CA 94039, USA

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Abstract.

A novel instrument, based on cavity-ringdown spectroscopy (CRDS), has been developed for trace gas detection. The new instrument utilizes a widely tunable optical parametric oscillator (OPO), which incorporates a zinc–germanium–phosphide (ZGP) crystal that is pumped at 2.8 μm by a 25-Hz Er,Cr:YSGG laser. The resultant mid-IR beam profile is nearly Gaussian, with energies exceeding 200 μJ/pulse between 6 and 8 μm, corresponding to a quantum conversion efficiency of approximately 35%. Vapor-phase mid-infrared spectra of common explosives (TNT, TATP, RDX, PETN and Tetryl) were acquired using the CRDS technique. Parts-per-billion concentration levels were readily detected with no sample preconcentration. A collection/flash-heating sequence was implemented in order to enhance detection limits for ambient air sampling. Detection limits as low as 75 ppt for TNT are expected, with similar concentration levels for the other explosives.

PACS: 42.65.Yj; 42.62.Fi; 33.20.Ea; 07.07.Df