Fiber-amplified-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy with near-infrared tunable diode lasers
A new approach to wavelength-modulation photoacoustic spectroscopy is reported, which incorporates diode lasers in the near infrared and optical fiber amplifiers to enhance sensitivity. We demonstrate the technique with ammonia detection, yielding a sensitivity limit less than 6 parts in 109, by interrogating a transition near 1532 nm with 500 mW of output power from the fiber amplifier, an optical pathlength of 18.4 cm, and an integration time constant of 10 s. This sensitivity is 15 times better than in prior published results for detecting ammonia with near-infrared diode lasers. The normalized minimum detectable fractional optical density,α min l, is 1.8 x 10-8; the minimum detectable absorption coefficient, α min, is 9.5 x 10-10 cm-1; and the minimum detectable absorption coefficient normalized by power and bandwidth is 1.5 x 10-9 W cm-1/ √Hz. These measurements represent what we believe to be the first use of fiber amplifiers to enhance photoacoustic spectroscopy, and this technique is applicable to all other species that fall within the gain curves of optical fiber amplifiers.