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Optical frequency comb photoacoustic spectroscopy

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27849-27855
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Volume20
Issue number44
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

We report the first photoacoustic detection scheme using an optical frequency comb - optical frequency comb photoacoustic spectroscopy (OFC-PAS). OFC-PAS combines the broad spectral coverage and the high resolution of OFCs with the small sample volume of cantilever-enhanced PA detection. In OFC-PAS, a Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) is used to modulate the intensity of the exciting comb source at a frequency determined by its scanning speed. One of the FTS outputs is directed to the PA cell and the other is measured simultaneously with a photodiode and used to normalize the PA signal. The cantilever-enhanced PA detector operates in a non-resonant mode, enabling detection of a broadband frequency response. The broadband and the high-resolution capabilities of OFC-PAS are demonstrated by measuring the rovibrational spectra of the fundamental C-H stretch band of CH4, with no instrumental line shape distortions, at total pressures of 1000 mbar, 650 mbar, and 400 mbar. In this first demonstration, a spectral resolution two orders of magnitude better than previously reported with broadband PAS is obtained, limited by the pressure broadening. A limit of detection of 0.8 ppm of methane in N2 is accomplished in a single interferogram measurement (200 s measurement time, 1000 MHz spectral resolution, 1000 mbar total pressure) for an exciting power spectral density of 42 μW/cm-1. A normalized noise equivalent absorption of 8 × 10-10 W cm-1 Hz-1/2 is obtained, which is only a factor of three higher than the best reported with PAS based on continuous wave lasers. A wide dynamic range of up to four orders of magnitude and a very good linearity (limited by the Beer-Lambert law) over two orders of magnitude are realized. OFC-PAS extends the capability of optical sensors for multispecies trace gas analysis in small sample volumes with high resolution and selectivity.

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