Abstract

So far, cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy (CEAS) has been based on optical cavities with a high finesse F that, however, has been limited by mirror reflectivity and by cavity transmission considerations to a few times 10,000. Here, we demonstrate a compact near-infrared optical-feedback CEAS instrument for water vapor isotope ratio measurements, with F>140,000. We show that this very high finesse can be effectively exploited to improve the detection sensitivity to the full extent predicted by the increased effective path length to reach a noise equivalent absorption sensitivity of 5.7×1011cm1Hz1/2 for a full spectrum registration (including possible effects of interference fringes and fit model inadequacies).

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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