Applied Physics B

, Volume 85, Issue 2–3, pp 437–443 | Cite as

Online monitoring of ethane traces in exhaled breath with a difference frequency generation spectrometer



We report a transportable mid-infrared laser cavity leak-out spectrometer for online detection of trace gases. The laser spectrometer is based on continuous-wave difference-frequency generation in the wavelength region around 3 μm. Sensitive spectroscopic trace gas monitoring was achieved using a high-finesse ring-down cavity. For difference-frequency generation, we use a periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) crystal, pumped by a Nd:YAG laser (signal wave) and a diode laser (pump wave) with a tapered amplifier. A maximum power of 280 μW near λ=3.3 μm is achieved using a pump power of 180 mW at 807 nm, a signal power of 890 mW at 1064.46 nm, and a 50-mm-long PPLN crystal. The resulting system proved to be a unique tool with high sensitivity and specificity for rapid and precise breath testing. We demonstrate spectroscopic online monitoring of ethane traces in exhaled human breath with a precision of 270 parts per trillion (1σ) and a time resolution of 1 s.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    B.A. Paldus, C.C. Harb, T.G. Spence, B. Wilke, J. Xie, J.S. Harris, R.N. Zare, J. Appl. Phys. 63, 3991 (1998)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Y.B. He, M. Hippler, M. Quack, Chem. Phys. Lett. 289, 527 (1998)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    M. Mürtz, B. Frech, W. Urban, Appl. Phys. B 68, 243 (1999)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    H. Dahnke, D. Kleine, P. Hering, M. Mürtz, Appl. Phys. B 72, 971 (2001)ADSGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    J.B. Dudek, P.B. Tarsa, A. Velasquez, M. Wladyslawski, P. Rabinowitz, K.K. Lehmann, Anal. Chem. 75, 4599 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Morville, D. Romanini, A.A. Kachanov, M. Chenevier, Appl. Phys. B 78, 465 (2004)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    M.M.J.W. van Herpen, S. Li, S.E. Bisson, S.T. Hekkert, F.J.M. Harren, Appl. Phys. B 75, 329 (2002)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    D. Richter, A. Fried, B.P. Wert, J.G. Walega, F.K. Tittel, Appl. Phys. B 75, 281 (2002)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    A. Popp, F. Müller, F. Kühnemann, S. Schiller, G. von Basum, H. Dahnke, P. Hering, M. Mürtz, Appl. Phys. B 75, 751 (2002)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    G. von Basum, D. Halmer, P. Hering, M. Mürtz, S. Schiller, F. Müller, A. Popp, F. Kühnemann, Opt. Lett. 29, 797 (2004)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    O. Dale, H. Bergum, T. Lund, T. Nilsen, P. Aadahl, R. Stenseth, Free Radical Res. 37, 815 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    T.H. Risby, in Breath Analysis for Clinical Diagnosis and Therapeutic Monitoring, ed. by A. Amann, D. Smith (World Scientific, Singapore, 2005), pp. 251–265Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    G. von Basum, H. Dahnke, D. Halmer, P. Hering, M. Mürtz, J. Appl. Physiol. 95, 2583 (2003)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    K.D. Skeldon, G.M. Gibson, C.A. Wyse, L.C. McMillan, S.D. Monk, C. Longbottom, M.J. Padgett, Appl. Opt. 44, 4712 (2005)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    D.G. Lancaster, D. Richter, F.K. Tittel, Appl. Phys. B 69, 459 (1999)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    C. Fischer, M.W. Sigrist, Appl. Phys. B 75, 305 (2002)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    S. Stry, P. Hering, M. Mürtz, Appl. Phys. B 75, 297 (2002)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    P. Maddaloni, G. Gagliardi, P. Malara, P. de Natale, Appl. Phys. B 80, 141 (2005)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    H.Y. Clark, L. Corner, W. Denzer, G. Hancock, A. Hutchinson, M. Islam, R. Peverall, G.A.D. Ritchie, Chem. Phys. Lett. 399, 102 (2004)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    P. Malara, P. Maddaloni, G. Gagliardi, P. de Natale, Opt. Express 14, 1304 (2006)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    D. Halmer, G. von Basum, P. Hering, M. Mürtz, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 75, 2187 (2004)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    HITRAN2000 database, www.hitran.comGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für LasermedizinUniversität DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

Personalised recommendations