Widely-tunable mid-infrared ring cavity pump-enhanced OPO and application in photo-thermal interferometric trace ethane detection

Jack W. Thomas*, Adam Polak, Gerald M. Bonner, David Logie, Malcolm H. Dunn, Jonathan C.F. Matthews, David J.M. Stothard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The development of a broadly and accurately tunable single-frequency mid-infrared laser source and its application to a sensitive laser absorption detection method are described. Photo-thermal interferometric spectroscopy is employed as a phase-sensitive method to detect the minute refractive index change caused by the heating of a gas under laser radiation. A separate probe beam allows for the spectrally-interesting mid-infrared region to be examined whilst utilizing low cost, high detectivity photodetectors in the visible/near-infrared region. We also describe the implementation of a Sagnac interferometer to minimize the effects of environmental perturbation and provide inherent passive stability. A continuous-wave ring-cavity pump-enhanced OPO has been developed to provide excitation light from 3–4 µm at 140 mW with the ability to mode-hop tune continuously over 90 cm−1 in 0.07 cm−1 steps. Complementary use of both detection apparatus and excitation source has allowed for presence of ethane to be detected down to 200 parts per billion.developed to provide excitation light from 3–4 µm at 140 mW with the ability to mode-hop tune continuously over 90 cm−1 in 0.07 cm−1 steps. Complementary use of both detection apparatus and excitation source has allowed for presence of ethane to be detected down to 200 parts per billion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4550-4562
Number of pages13
JournalOptics Express
Volume28
Issue number4
Early online date3 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Absorption coefficient
  • Carbon dioxide lasers
  • Gas lasers
  • Laser beams
  • Laser sources
  • Phase matching

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