Applied Physics B

, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp 849–860 | Cite as

CO concentration and temperature sensor for combustion gases using quantum-cascade laser absorption near 4.7 μm



A sensor for sensitive in situ measurements of carbon monoxide and temperature in combustion gases has been developed using absorption transitions in the (v′=1←v″=0) and (v′=2←v″=1) fundamental bands of CO. Recent availability of mid-infrared quantum-cascade (QC) lasers provides convenient access to the CO fundamental band near 4.7 μm, having approximately 104 and 102 times stronger absorption line-strengths compared to the overtone bands near 1.55 μm and 2.3 μm used previously to sense CO in combustion gases. Spectroscopic parameters of the selected transitions were determined via laboratory measurements in a shock tube over the 1100–2000 K range and also at room temperature. A single-laser absorption sensor was developed for accurate CO measurements in shock-heated gases by scanning the line pair v″=0, R(12) and v″=1, R(21) at 2.5 kHz. To capture the rapidly varying CO time-histories in chemical reactions, two different QC lasers were then used to probe the line-center absorbance of transitions v″=0, P(20) and v″=1, R(21) with a bandwidth of 1 MHz using fixed-wavelength direct absorption. The sensor was applied in successful shock tube measurements of temperature and CO time-histories during the pyrolysis and oxidation of methyl formate, illustrating the capability of this sensor for chemical kinetic studies.


Shock Tube Incident Shock Line Pair Methyl Formate Periodically Pole Lithium Niobate 
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This work was supported by the Combustion Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001198, the Army Research Office (ARO) with Dr. Ralph Anthenien as contract monitor, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) with Dr. Julian Tishkoff as technical monitor. The authors thank Dr. Jay Jeffries for his help on the selection and specification of the lasers and acquisition of the needed support electronics.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Ren
    • 1
  • A. Farooq
    • 2
  • D. F. Davidson
    • 1
  • R. K. Hanson
    • 1
  1. 1.High Temperature Gasdynamics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical EngineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Clean Combustion Research CenterKing Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyThuwalSaudi Arabia

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