Abstract

A gas sensor integrating a pulsed external-cavity quantum-cascade laser and a photoacoustic (PA) cell placed inside the laser cavity is described. The laser design allows a continuously tunable and mode-hop-free operation with an estimated instrument-limited linewidth of 0.063  cm1 in Littrow or Littman–Metcalf cavity configurations. Due to higher intracavity power levels, the PA signal for the cell located within the laser cavity is 80–320 times stronger than the signal for the same cell placed outside the cavity. The sensor shows a good capability to identify individual absorption lines of isotopic H2O16, H2O8, and H2O17 species within a narrow spectral interval from 1814 to 1821  cm1 at natural isotope abundances.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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