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Opt Express. 2011 Jan 31;19(3):2493-501. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.002493.

Sensitive and selective detection of OH radicals using Faraday rotation spectroscopy at 2.8 µm.

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Laboratoire de Physicochimie de l’Atmosphère, Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, 189A Av Maurice Schumann, 59140 Dunkerque, France.


We report on the development of a Faraday rotation spectroscopy (FRS) instrument using a DFB diode laser operating at 2.8 µm for the hydroxyl (OH) free radical detection. The highest absorption line intensity and the largest gJ value make the Q (1.5) double lines of the 2Π3/2 state (υ = 1 ← 0) at 2.8 µm clearly the best choice for sensitive detection in the infrared region by FRS. The prototype instrument shows shot-noise dominated performance and, with an active optical pathlength of only 25 cm and a lock-in time constant of 100 ms, achieves a 1σ detection limit of 8.2 × 10(8) OH radicals/cm3.

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