Laser based chemical sensor technology: Recent advances and applications

Frank K. Tittel, Yury A. Bakhirkin, Robert F. Curl, Anatoliy A. Kosterev, Matthew R. McCurdy, Stephen G. So, Gerard Wysocki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


There is an increasing need in many chemical sensing applications ranging from environmental science to industrial process control as well as medical diagnostics for fast, sensitive, and selective trace gas detection based on laser spectroscopy. The recent availability of continuous wave near infrared diode lasers-, mid-infrared quantum cascade and interband cascade distributed feedback (QC and IC DFB) lasers as mid-infrared spectroscopic sources addresses this need. A number of spectroscopic techniques have been demonstrated. For example, the authors have employed infrared DFB QC and IC lasers for the detection and quantification of trace gases and isotopic species in ambient air by means of direct absorption, cavity-enhanced, and photoacoustic spectroscopy. These spectroscopic techniques offer an alternative to non-spectroscopic techniques such as mass spectrometry (MS), gas chromatography (GC) and electrochemical sensors. The sensitivity and selectivity that can be achieved by both techniques (excluding electrochemical sensors) are similar, but the sensor response time, instrumentation size and cost of ownership for spectroscopic techniques can be advantageous as compared to MS-GC spectrometry. Keywords: Laser absorption spectroscopy, cavity-enhanced and photoacoustic spectroscopy, near infrared diode lasers, mid infrared quantum cascade lasers, chemical sensing of trace gases

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvanced Environmental Monitoring
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781402063633
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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