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Open AccessArticle

Dual-Section DFB-QCLs for Multi-Species Trace Gas Analysis

1
Institute for Quantum Electronics, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
2
Laboratory for Air Pollution and Environmental Technology, Empa, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
3
Institute for Aerosol and Sensor Technology, FHNW, 5210 Windisch, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Photonics 2016, 3(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics3020024
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 27 April 2016 / Accepted: 28 April 2016 / Published: 30 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Cascade Lasers - Advances and New Applications)
We report on the dynamic behavior of dual-wavelength distributed feedback (DFB) quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) in continuous wave and intermittent continuous wave operation. We investigate inherent etaloning effects based on spectrally resolved light-current-voltage (LIV) characterization and perform time-resolved spectral analysis of thermal chirping during long (>5 µs) current pulses. The theoretical aspects of the observed behavior are discussed using a combination of finite element method simulations and transfer matrix method calculations of dual-section DFB structures. Based on these results, we demonstrate how the internal etaloning can be minimized using anti-reflective (AR) coatings. Finally, the potential and benefits of these devices for high precision trace gas analysis are demonstrated using a laser absorption spectroscopic setup. Thereby, the atmospherically highly relevant compounds CO2 (including its major isotopologues), CO and N2O are simultaneously determined with a precision of 0.16 ppm, 0.22 ppb and 0.26 ppb, respectively, using a 1-s integration time and an optical path-length of 36 m. This creates exciting new opportunities in the development of compact, multi-species trace gas analyzers. View Full-Text
Keywords: quantum cascade lasers; multi-wavelength; laser spectroscopy; etaloning; thermal effects; trace gas analysis quantum cascade lasers; multi-wavelength; laser spectroscopy; etaloning; thermal effects; trace gas analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Süess, M.J.; Hundt, P.M.; Tuzson, B.; Riedi, S.; Wolf, J.M.; Peretti, R.; Beck, M.; Looser, H.; Emmenegger, L.; Faist, J. Dual-Section DFB-QCLs for Multi-Species Trace Gas Analysis. Photonics 2016, 3, 24.

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