Carbon Monoxide Detection (CO)

Importance of laser-based carbon monoxide detection

nanoplus lasers for carbon monoxide detection are used for:

  • Process Optimization: Combustion control
  • Environment: Emission control
  • Safety: Early fire detection
  • Health: Breath gas analysis
  • Health: Analysis of surgical smoke

Tunable diode laser spectroscopy allows measuring CO with up to ppb precision in real time and in situ. Providing long-term stability and requiring little maintenance, nanoplus lasers are suitable for operation in harsh environments.

Standard wavelengths for carbon monoxide detection

nanoplus offers various wavelengths to target the vibrational-rotational bands of carbon monoxide. Different customers use different wavelengths. Literature recommends the following wavelengths for carbon monoxide detection:

Select your wavelength for carbon monoxide detection

Above wavelengths are commonly used to detect carbon monoxide. When you choose your wavelength, you have to consider product set up, environment and nature of the measurement. These factors decide if the selected wavelength is a good match. Let us know the wavelength you require with an accuracy of 0.1 nm!

Do have a look at the HITRAN database to evaluate further wavelengths.

Figure 1: Absorption features of carbon monoxide in 760 nm to 6000 nm range
Absorption features of carbon monoxide in 760 nm to 6000 nm range

Related information for laser-based carbon monoxide detection

Specifications & Mountings


Papers & Links

The following tables analyse the typical specifications of the standard wavelengths for CO detection.

electro-optical properties of
1568.0 nm DFB laser diode
standard wavelengthλnm1568.0
absorption line strengthScm / mol∼ 2 x 10-23
output powerpoutmW5710
threshold currentlthmA102030
current tuning coefficientcTnm / mA0.0080.0150.02
temperature tuning coefficientcInm / K0.070.10.14
mode hop free tuning rangeΔλnm+/- 0.5+/- 0.7+/- 1
electro-optical properties of
2330.0 nm DFB laser diode
standard wavelengthλnm2330.0
absorption line strengthScm / mol∼ 3 x 10-21
output powerpoutmW3
threshold currentlthmA102530
current tuning coefficientcTnm / mA0.010.020.05
temperature tuning coefficientcInm / K0.180.220.25
mode hop free tuning rangeΔλnm+/- 0.5
electro-optical properties of
4610.0 nm DFB interband cascade laser
standard wavelength


absorption line strengthScm / mol∼5 x 10-19
output powerpoutmW> 1
threshold currentlthmA50
current tuning coefficientcTnm / mA0.2
temperature tuning coefficientcInm / K0.3
mode hop free tuning rangeΔλnm+/- 0.5
mounting options /
technical drawings
wavelengthTECcap with windowAR cap with AR windowfiberheatsinkcollimation
TO5.6 760 nm - 3000 nmNANANANANA
TO5 760 nm - 3000 nmNANA
TO663000 nm - 6000 nmNANA
c-mount 760 nm - 3000 nmNANANANANANA
SM-BTF760 nm - 2360 nmNANAsingle modeNANA
PM-BTF1064 nm - 2050 nmNANApolarization maintainingNANA

Ask for further packages.

Please find below a number of application samples.

Combustion control in high temperature processes:
CO is a major element in high temperature processes. Optimizing CO concentration in flue gas increases combustion efficiency. Simultaneously, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. CO detection at long wavelengths like 2.8 µm and 4.3 µm uses stronger vibrational absorption features than the shorter wavelength ranges. This effect increases the sensitivity of the detector and allows using measurement set ups with short path lengths. [3, 12, 35, 48]

Combustion control in high temperature processes:
Oxygen control enhances process and cost efficiency of incinerators. Oxidation requires excess air. But too much air cools down the combustion and increases the amount of CO in the flue gas. Real-time and in situ monitoring helps to optimize the oxygen content in combustion processes. [3]

Early fire detection:
Early fire detection technologies rely on highly sensitive detection of carbon monoxide. Coal-fired power plants, steel mills or biomass deposits use these smoke detectors to increase process and workers safety.

Monitoring of breath gas:
The relatively new research field of breath analysis defines CO concentration in exhaled breath as a biomarker for e. g. respiratory infections and asthma. [63].

Please find below a selection of related papers from our literature list.

Let us know if you published a paper with our lasers. We will be happy to include it in our literature list.

#3 Gas monitoring in the process industry using diode laser spectroscopy;
I. Linnerud, P.Kaspersen, T. Jaeger, Appl. Phys. B 67, 1998, pp. 297-305.

#32 Single-frequency Sb-based distributed-feedback lasers emitting at 2.3 µm above room temperature for application in tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy;
A. Salhi, D. Barat, D. Romanini, Y. Rouillard, A. Ouvrard, R. Werner, J. Seufert, J. Koeth, A. Vicet, A. Garnache, Appl. Opt., 45, 20., pp. 4957-4965.

#35 TDLAS-based sensors for in situ measurement of syngas composition in a pressurized, oxygen-blown, entrained flow coal gasifier;
R. Sur, K. Sun, J.B. Jeffries, R.K. Hanson, R.J. Pummill, T. Waind, D.R. Wagner, K.J. Whitty, Appl. Phys. B, 116, 1, 2014, pp. 33-42.

#43 Chemical analysis of surgical smoke by infrared laser spectroscopy;
Michele Gianella, Markus W. Sigrist, Appl. Phys. B, 109, 3, Nov. 2012, pp. 485-496.

#48 Absolute, spatially resolved, in situ CO profiles in atmospheric laminar counter-flow diffusion flames using 2.3 µm TDLAS;
S. Wagner, M. Klein, T. Kathrotia, U. Riedel, T. Kissel, A. Dreizler, V. Ebert, Appl. Phys. B, 109, 3, Nov. 2012, pp. 533-540.

#50 Mid-IR difference frequency laser-based sensors for ambient CH4, CO, and N2O monitoring;
J. J. Scherer, J. B. Paul, H. J. Jost, Marc L. Fischer, Appl. Phys. B, 109, 3, Nov. 2012, pp. 271-277.