Abstract

We present minimalistic and cost-efficient instrumentation employing tunable diode laser gas spectroscopy for the characterization of porous and highly scattering solids. The sensitivity reaches 3×106 (absorption fraction), and the improvement with respect to previous work in this field is a factor of 10. We also provide the first characterization of the interference phenomenon encountered in high-resolution spectroscopy of turbid samples. Revealing that severe optical interference originates from the samples, we discuss important implications for system design. In addition, we introduce tracking coils and sample rotation as new and efficient tools for interference suppression. The great value of the approach is illustrated in an application addressing structural properties of pharmaceutical materials.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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