Abstract

We report on a dual-diode laser spectroscopic system for simultaneous detection of two gases. The technique is demonstrated by performing gas measurements on absorbing samples such as an air distance, and on absorbing and scattering porous samples such as human tissue. In the latter it is possible to derive the concentration of one gas by normalizing to a second gas of known concentration. This is possible if the scattering and absorption of the bulk material is equal or similar for the two wavelengths used, resulting in a common effective pathlength. Two pigtailed diode lasers are operated in a wavelength modulation scheme to detect molecular oxygen 760nm and water vapor 935nm within the tissue optical window (600nm to 1.3μm). Different modulation frequencies are used to distinguish between the two wavelengths. No crosstalk can be observed between the gas contents measured in the two gas channels. The system is made compact by using a computer board and performing software-based lock-in detection. The noise floor obtained corresponds to an absorption fraction of approximately 6×10-5 for both oxygen and water vapor, yielding a minimum detection limit of 2mm for both gases in ambient air. The power of the technique is illustrated by the preliminary results of a clinical trial, nonintrusively investigating gas in human sinuses.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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