Recovery of acetylene absorption line profile basing on tunable diode laser spectroscopy with intensity modulation and photoacoustic spectroscopy

Li Li, G.J. Thursby, G. Stewart, Norhana Arsad, D.G. Uttamchandani, B. Culshaw, Yiding Wang

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3 Citations (Scopus)


A novel and direct absorption line recovery technique based on tunable diode laser spectroscopy with intensity modulation is presented. Photoacoustic spectroscopy is applied for high sensitivity, zero background and efficient acoustic enhancement at a low modulation frequency. A micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) mirror driven by an electrothermal actuator is used for generating laser intensity modulation (without wavelength modulation) through the external reflection. The MEMS mirror with 10µm thick structure material layer and 100nm thick gold coating is formed as a circular mirror of 2mm diameter attached to an electrothermal actuator and is fabricated on a chip that is wire-bonded and placed on a PCB holder. Low modulation frequency is adopted (since the resonant frequencies of the photoacoustic gas cell and the electrothermal actuator are different) and intrinsic high signal amplitude characteristics in low frequency region achieved from measured frequency responses for the MEMS mirror and the gas cell. Based on the property of photoacoustic spectroscopy and Beer's law that detectable sensitivity is a function of input laser intensity in the case of constant gas concentration and laser path length, a Keopsys erbium doped fibre amplifier (EDFA) with opto-communication C band and high output power up to 1W is chosen to increase the laser power. High modulation depth is achieved through adjusting the MEMS mirror's reflection position and driving voltage. In order to scan through the target gas absorption line, the temperature swept method is adopted for the tunable distributed feed-back (DFB) diode laser working at 1535nm that accesses the near-infrared vibration-rotation spectrum of acetylene. The profile of acetylene P17 absorption line at 1535.39nm is recovered ideally for ~100 parts-per-million (ppm) acetylene balanced by nitrogen. The experimental signal to noise ratio (SNR) of absorption line recovery for 500mW laser power was ~80 and hence the detectable sensitivity is of the order of 1ppm.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of SPIE: The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number77261O
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • acetylene absorption
  • diode laser spectroscopy
  • photoacoustic spectroscopy


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