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

Article

Abstract

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.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für LasermedizinUniversität DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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