A femtosecond mode-locked laser is used for what is believed to be the first time as a broadband infrared source for high-resolution Fourier transform absorption spectroscopy. A demonstration is made with a laser. The entire vibration–rotation band region of acetylene, observed after passing through a single-pass -long cell, is simultaneously recorded between 1480 and , in with a signal-to-noise ratio equal to 1000. Two hot bands of the most abundant acetylene isotopologue and the band of the are also present. Replacement of the usual conventional tungsten lamp by the bright laser source reduces by about a factor of 150 the recording time needed to get similar results. The noise equivalent absorption coefficient at averaging is equal to per spectral element.
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