Abstract

Spectroscopic detection of ethane in the 3-µm wavelength region was performed by means of a cw optical parametric oscillator and cavity leak-out. We achieved a minimum detectable absorption coefficient of 1.6×10-10 cm-1/Hz, corresponding to an ethane detection limit of 6 parts per trillion /Hz. For 3-min integration time the detection limit was 0.5 parts per trillion. The levels are to our knowledge the best demonstrated so far. These frequency-tuning capabilities facilitated multigas analysis with simultaneous monitoring of ethane, methane, and water vapor in human breath.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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