Applied Physics B

, 124:108 | Cite as

Multi-species trace gas sensing with dual-wavelength QCLs

  • P. Morten Hundt
  • Béla Tuzson
  • Oleg Aseev
  • Chang Liu
  • Philipp Scheidegger
  • Herbert Looser
  • Filippos Kapsalidis
  • Mehran Shahmohammadi
  • Jérôme Faist
  • Lukas Emmenegger
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Mid-infrared and THz Laser Sources and Applications


Instrumentation for environmental monitoring of gaseous pollutants and greenhouse gases tends to be complex, expensive, and energy demanding, because every compound measured relies on a specific analytical technique. This work demonstrates an alternative approach based on mid-infrared laser absorption spectroscopy with dual-wavelength quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). The combination of two dual- and one single-DFB QCL yields high-precision measurements of CO (0.08 ppb), CO2 (100 ppb), NH3 (0.02 ppb), NO (0.4 ppb), NO2 (0.1 ppb), N2O (0.045 ppb), and O3 (0.11 ppb) simultaneously in a compact setup (45 × 45 cm2). The lasers are driven time-multiplexed in intermittent continuous wave mode with a repetition rate of 1 kHz. The individual spectra are real-time averaged (1 s) by an FPGA-based data acquisition system. The instrument was assessed for environmental monitoring and benchmarked with reference instrumentation to demonstrate its potential for compact multi-species trace gas sensing.



This work was financially supported by II and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) through “Umwelttechnologieförderung”. We thank the NABEL team for providing the data from the monitoring station in Dübendorf and for supplying the reference gases. The continuous support of Beat Schwarzenbach (Empa) with O3 calibrations and NO x measurements was indispensable for this work. Christoph Zellweger (Empa) is acknowledged for providing the calibrated reference gas cylinder.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Morten Hundt
    • 1
    • 4
  • Béla Tuzson
    • 1
  • Oleg Aseev
    • 1
  • Chang Liu
    • 1
  • Philipp Scheidegger
    • 1
  • Herbert Looser
    • 1
    • 3
  • Filippos Kapsalidis
    • 2
  • Mehran Shahmohammadi
    • 2
  • Jérôme Faist
    • 2
  • Lukas Emmenegger
    • 1
  1. 1.Empa-Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Air Pollution and Environmental TechnologyDübendorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.ETH Zurich, Quantum Optoelectronics GroupZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.FHNW, Institute for Aerosol and Sensor TechnologyWindischSwitzerland
  4. 4.MIRO Analytical Technologies GmbHDübendorfSwitzerland

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