A high precision pulsed quantum cascade laser spectrometer for measurements of stable isotopes of carbon dioxide

J. B. McManus, D. D. Nelson, J. H. Shorter, R. Jimenez, S. Herndon, S. Saleska, M. Zahniser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe a prototype instrument using a Peltier cooled quantum cascade laser for precise measurement of stable carbon ( 13 C/ 12 C) isotopologue ratios in atmospheric CO 2 . Using novel optics and signal processing techniques in a compact instrument, we are able to detect the difference between sample and reference with a precision of 0.1‰ (2 standard error of mean of 11 samples) in 10min of analysis time. The standard deviation of 0.18‰ for individual 30s measurements shows that this prototype instrument already approaches the best reported literature values using continuous wave lead alloy tunable diode lasers. The application of pulsed near room-temperature quantum cascade lasers to this demanding problem opens the possibility of field worthy rapid response isotopic instrumentation and attests to the maturity of these lasers as spectroscopic sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2309-2321
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Modern Optics
Volume52
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 10 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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