Abstract

We present a novel compact pulsed laser spectrometer based on difference-frequency mixing of a cw tunable external-cavity diode laser (795–825  nm) and a pulsed Nd:YAG laser (1064  nm) in bulk LiNbO3. The pulsed mid-IR source is continuously tunable from 3.16 to 3.67 μm and exhibits a linewidth of only 154  MHz, a peak power of 50 μW, and a pulse duration of 6  ns at a 6.5-kHz repetition rate. Spectra of methane in room air and formaldehyde have been recorded at room-temperature operation in a multipass cell with deduced detection limits of 10 and 40 parts in 109, respectively.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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