Applied Physics B

, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 255-260

Development of a compact quantum cascade laser spectrometer for field measurements of CO2 isotopes

  • D. WeidmannAffiliated withRice Quantum Institute, Rice University Email author 
  • , G. WysockiAffiliated withRice Quantum Institute, Rice University
  • , C. OppenheimerAffiliated withDepartment of Geography
  • , F.K. TittelAffiliated withRice Quantum Institute, Rice University

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We report the development of a field-deployable, pulsed quantum cascade laser spectrometer. The instrument is designed to measure the 13C/12C isotopic ratio in the CO2 released from volcanic vents. Specific 12CO2 and 13CO2 absorption lines were selected around 4.3 μm, where the P-branch of 12CO2 overlaps the R-branch of 13CO2 of the 0001–0000 vibrational transition. This particular selection makes the instrument insensitive to temperature variations. A dual-channel cell balances the two absorption signals. We provide details of the instrument design and a preliminary demonstration of its performance based on laboratory measurements of 16O12C16O and 16O12C18O.