Abstract

We perform a direct absorption spectroscopy experiment of carbon monoxide at 2193cm1 by exploring the detectivity improvement potential of an intensity noise (IN)-reduced distributed feedback (DFB) quantum cascade laser. This was achieved by a detuned loading approach via a short, phase-sensitive optical feedback cavity. Under optimum IN reduction conditions, we obtain an improvement in signal-to-noise ratio from 733 to 1048, which transfers into a detection limit improvement from 1.2 ppm to 840 ppb. Therefore, we achieve a 30% lower detection limit, with the IN reduced when compared to the free-running case.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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