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Opt Lett. 2004 Apr 15;29(8):797-9.

Parts per trillion sensitivity for ethane in air with an optical parametric oscillator cavity leak-out spectrometer.

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  • 1Institut für Lasermedizin, Universität Düsseldorf, Universitätsstrasse 1, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.


Spectroscopic detection of ethane in the 3-microm wavelength region was performed by means of a cw optical parametric oscillator and cavity leak-out. We achieved a minimum detectable absorption coefficient of 1.6 x 10(-10) cm 1/square root of Hz, corresponding to an ethane detection limit of 6 parts per trillion/square root of Hz. For 3-min integration time the detection limit was 0.5 parts per trillion. The levels are to our knowledge the best demonstrated so far. These frequency-tuning capabilities facilitated multigas analysis with simultaneous monitoring of ethane, methane, and water vapor in human breath.

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