We report the demonstration of two-tone optical heterodyne spectroscopy with a tunable lead-salt diode laser. Using high-frequency modulation of the diode-laser injection current, we demonstrated a detection-sensitivity limit of 1 × 10−5 to differential absorption from Doppler-broadened NH3 lines in the 930-cm−1 region. In our experiment, this limit was set by preamplifier noise and the low quantum efficiency of the photodetector. A substantial increase in sensitivity should be possible by using an improved detector, an improved preamplifier, and higher optical power.
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