, Volume 72, Issue 7, pp 865-872

Oxygen measurements at high pressures with vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers

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Measurements of oxygen concentration at high pressures (to 10.9 bar) were made using diode-laser absorption of oxygen A-band transitions near 760 nm. The wide current-tuning frequency range (>30 cm-1) of vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) was exploited to enable the first scanned-wavelength demonstration of diode-laser absorption at high pressures; this strategy is more robust than fixed-wavelength strategies, particularly in hostile environments. The wide tuning range and rapid frequency response of the current tuning were further exploited to demonstrate wavelength-modulation absorption spectroscopy in a high-pressure environment. The minimum detectable absorbance demonstrated, ∼1×10-4, corresponds to ∼800 ppm-m oxygen detectivity at room temperature and is limited by etalon noise. The rapid- and wide-frequency tunability of VCSELs should significantly expand the application domain of absorption-based sensors limited in the past by the small current-tuning frequency range (typically <2 cm-1) of conventional edge-emitting diode lasers.