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Real-time trace-level detection of carbon dioxide and ethylene in car exhaust gases

McCulloch, M T and Langford, N and Duxbury, G (2005) Real-time trace-level detection of carbon dioxide and ethylene in car exhaust gases. Applied Optics, 44 (14). pp. 2887-2894. ISSN 1559-128X

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Abstract

A direct-absorption spectrometer, based on a pulsed, distributed feedback, quantum cascade laser with a 10.26-μ m wavelength and an astigmatic Herriott cell with a 66-m path length, has been developed for high-resolution IR spectroscopy. This spectrometer utilizes the intrapulse method, an example of sweep integration, in which the almost linear wavelength up-chirp obtained from a distributed feedback, quantum cascade laser yields a spectral microwindow of as many as 2.5 wave numbers/cm(-1). Within this spectral microwindow, molecular fingerprints can be monitored and recorded in real time. This system allows both the detection of carbon dioxide and ethylene and the real-time observation of the evolution of these gases in the exhaust by-products from several cars. © 2005 Optical Society of America.