Cavity-enhanced optical frequency comb spectroscopy in the mid-infrared application to trace detection of hydrogen peroxide
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- Foltynowicz, A., Masłowski, P., Fleisher, A.J. et al. Appl. Phys. B (2013) 110: 163. doi:10.1007/s00340-012-5024-7
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We demonstrate the first cavity-enhanced optical frequency comb spectroscopy in the mid-infrared wavelength region and report the sensitive real-time trace detection of hydrogen peroxide in the presence of a large amount of water. The experimental apparatus is based on a mid-infrared optical parametric oscillator synchronously pumped by a high-power Yb:fiber laser, a high-finesse broadband cavity, and a fast-scanning Fourier transform spectrometer with autobalancing detection. The comb spectrum with a bandwidth of 200 nm centered around 3.76 μm is simultaneously coupled to the cavity and both degrees of freedom of the comb, i.e. the repetition rate and carrier envelope offset frequency, are locked to the cavity to ensure stable transmission. The autobalancing detection scheme reduces the intensity noise by a factor of 300, and a sensitivity of 5.4×10−9 cm−1 Hz−1/2 with a resolution of 800 MHz is achieved (corresponding to 6.9×10−11 cm−1 Hz−1/2 per spectral element for 6000 resolved elements). This yields a noise equivalent detection limit for hydrogen peroxide of 8 parts-per-billion (ppb); in the presence of 2.8 % of water the detection limit is 130 ppb. Spectra of acetylene, methane, and nitrous oxide at atmospheric pressure are also presented, and a line-shape model is developed to simulate the experimental data.