Midinfrared sensors meet nanotechnology: Trace gas sensing with quantum cascade lasers inside photonic band-gap hollow waveguides

  • Charlton C
  • Temelkuran B
  • Dellemann G
 et al. 
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An integrated midinfrared sensing system for trace level (ppb) gas analysis combining a quantum cascade laser with an emission frequency of 10.3 um with a frequency matched photonic band-gap hollow core waveguide has been developed, demonstrating the sensing application of photonic band-gap fibers. The photonic band-gap fiber simultaneously acts as a wavelength selective waveguide and miniaturized gas cell. The laser emission wavelength corresponds to the vibrational C–H stretch band of ethyl chloride gas. This sensing system enabled the detection of ethyl chloride at concentration levels of 30 ppb (v/v) with a response time of 8 s probing a sample volume of only 1.5 mL in a transmission absorption measurement within the photonic band-gap hollow core waveguide, which corresponds to a sensitivity improvement by three orders of magnitude compared to previously reported results obtained with conventional hollow waveguides.

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