Applied Physics B

, Volume 80, Issue 4–5, pp 617–625

Spectroscopic trace-gas sensor with rapidly scanned wavelengths of a pulsed quantum cascade laser for in situ NO monitoring of industrial exhaust systems



Development of a pulsed quantum cascade laser (QCL)-based spectroscopic trace-gas sensor for sub-part-per-million detection of nitric oxide (NO) and capable of monitoring other molecular species such as CO2, H2O, and NH3 in industrial combustion exhaust systems is reported. Rapid frequency modulation is applied to the QCL to minimize the influence of fluctuating non-selective absorption. A novel method utilizes only a few laser pulses within a single wavelength scan to probe an absorption spectrum at precisely selected optical frequencies. A high-temperature gas cell was used for laboratory evaluation of the NO sensor performance. A noise-equivalent sensitivity (1σ) of ∼ 100 ppb × m/\(\sqrt{Hz}\) at room temperature and ∼ 200 ppb × m/\(\sqrt{Hz}\) at 630 K was achieved by measuring the NO R(6.5) absorption doublet at 1900.075 cm−1.


42.62.Fi 07.07.Df 42.55.Px 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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