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Carbon Monoxide (CO)


Carbon Monoxide

Major Applications

nanoplus lasers detect carbon monoxide detection in numerous applications, such as in climate monitoring or combustion control, early fire detection, breath gas anaylysis as well as 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.


Typical Wavelength

Select your target wavelength

nanoplus offers various wavelengths to target the vibrational-rotational bands of carbon monoxide. Select the target wavelength that fits your application best.

The literature recommends several options. They are illustrated in the graphic on the right, which shows the relative intensities of the possible absorption lines. To define the most suitable CO wavelength for your application, you may have a look at our literature recommendations below or refer to the HITRAN database from the Smithsonian Institute.

We present the most common Distributed Feedback lasers for CO detection below. Learn more about their specifications.

Absorption Features
Typical wavelengths for carbon monoxide detection

Factors which you should consider in your setup

Above wavelengths as well as further customized wavelengths for carbon monoxide detection are available from nanoplus.

When you choose your wavelength, you have to consider your product set up, environment and nature of the measurement.

These factors influence the optimum wavelength for your application. Do have a look at the Hitran Database to further evaluate your choice of wavelengths. Our application experts are equally happy to discuss with you the most suitable wavelength for your application.

Let us know the wavelength you require with an accuracy of 0.1 nm!

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Further Reading

Applications & Papers

We compiled several papers on carbon monoxide detection based on tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy. Refer to below literature list to read more or select your paper by application.

Papers & Links
Monitoring of breath gas: CO

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 ]
Early fire detection: CO

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.

O2 & CO
Combustion control in high temperature processes: O2 and CO

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.

[ 157 , 154 , 3 ]
Combustion control in high temperature processes: CO

­­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. 

[ 157 , 154 , 124 , 110 , 48 , 35 , 12 , 3 ]
Papers & Links
# 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, 2014, 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, November 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, November 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, November 2017, pp. 271-277.,
# 63 Breath Analysis Using Laser Spectroscopic Techniques: Breath Biomarkers, Spectral Fingerprints, and Detection Limits
C. Wang and P. Sahay, Sensors, 9, 2009, 8230 - 8262,
# 93 Interband cascade laser-based optical transfer standard for atmospheric carbon monoxide measurements
J. A. Nwaboh, Z. Qu, O. Werhahn and V. Ebert , App. Optics, Vol. 56, No.11, 10. April 2017, pp. E84-E93.,
# 106 Recent progress in laser‑based trace gas instruments: performance and noise analysis
J. B. McManus, M. S. Zahniser, D. D. Nelson et. al., Appl. Phys. B, 2015, 119: 203.,
# 110 Optical fiber tip‑based quartz‑enhanced photoacoustic sensor for trace gas detection
Z. Li, Z. Wang, C. Wang, W. Ren, Appl. Phys. B, 2016, 122:147.,
# 118 Metrological quantification of CO in biogas using laser absorption spectroscopy and gas chromatography
J. A. Nwaboh, S. Persijn, K. Arrhenius, H. Bohlén, O. Werhahn, V. Ebert, Meas. Sci. Technol., Vol.29, No.9, 2018,
# 124 Tomographic laser absorption imaging ofcombustion species and temperature in the mid-wave infrared
C. Wei, D. I. Pineda, C. S. Goldenstein, R. M. Spearrin, Opt. Exp., Vol. 26, Iss. 16, 2018, pp. 20944 - 20951.,
# 154 Measurements of H2O, CO2, CO and Static Temperature inside Rotating Detonation Engines
K. Thurmond, K. A. Ahmed, S. Vasu, AIAA, SciTech Forum, Session: Detonative Pressure Gain Combustion I, 2019,
# 157 MHz laser absorption spectroscopy via diplexed RF modulation for pressure, temperature, and species in rotating detonation rocket flows
A. Nair, D. Lee, D. I. Pineda, J. Kriesel, W. A. Hargus Jr., J. W. Bennewitz, S. A. Danczyk, R. M. Spearrin, Appl. Phys. B, Lasers and Optics, 126, 2020,
# 178 Quartz-Enhanced Photoacoustic Sensors for Detection of Eight Air Pollutants
R. De Palo, A. Elefante, G. Biagi, F. Paciolla, R. Weih, V. Villada, A. Zifarelli, M. Giglio, A. Sampaolo, V. Spagnolo, P. Patimisco, Adv. Phot. Res., Vo. 4, Iss. 6, 2023,
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If you have any questions on above wavelengths or require advice on making your choice, our experts will assist you. Just email us or give us a call.