Abstract

We demonstrate what we believe is the first application of the recently developed electrically pumped GaAs/AlGaAs quantum-cascade lasers in a spectroscopic gas-sensing system by use of hollow waveguides. Laser light with an emission maximum at 10.009 µm is used to investigate the mid-infrared absorption of ethene at atmospheric pressure. We used a 434-mm-long silver-coated silica hollow waveguide as a sensing element, which served as a gas absorption cell. Different mixtures of helium and ethene with known concentrations are flushed through the waveguide while the laser radiation that passes through the waveguide is analyzed with a Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer. The experimentally obtained discrete ethene spectrum agrees well with the calculated spectrum. A detection threshold of 250 parts per million is achieved with the current setup.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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