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Applications of laser-based sensors in research

Gas Detection in Research

nanoplus lasers in research
Chemical sensing using surface plasmon polariton

A 3.6 µm ICL is used to enhance the reading of the surface plasmon polariton effect.

Isotopologue ratio measurements: H2O

Water isotopologue measurements are carried out in various research fields like climate and paleoclimate studies, geological surveys, hydrological studies, and clinical research for diagnosis.

[ 167 , 105 ]
Optimization of internal combustion engines: H2O

The automotive industry designs new engines to increase fuel efficiency and reduce pollutant emission. Exhaust gas recirculation has become a standard technology for emission control. A newly developed laser hygrometer measures water vapour in such engines with microsecond time resolution and in situ. This method helps to rapidly quantify recirculated gas fractions and to eventually optimize combustion.

[ 47 ]
H2O & O2
Monitoring of gas in the lungs and intestines of newborn infants: H2O and O2

Child mortality is high among preterm newborn infants. They are often affected by free gas in lungs and intestines, which may lead to the breakdown of vital organs. The current diagnosis is based on X-ray radiography. According to a study a bed-side, rapid, non-intrusive, and gas-specific technique for in vivo gas sensing would improve diagnosis and enhance the babies' chance of survival. The detection method is based on laser spectroscopy

[ 51 ]
Analysis of surgical smoke

Surgical smoke occurs during the use of certain surgical instruments, such as lasers, drills or ultrasonic scalpels. It consists of several toxic and carcinogenic gases. Though detected in uncritical concentrations, these gases carry a health risk. Laser based spectroscopy offers a possibility to analyze even lowest exposures

[ 43 ]
C2H6 & C2H2
Monitoring of breath gas: C2H6 and C2H2

Medical breath analysis considers ethane and acetelyne as a biomarkers for asthma, schizophrenia or lung cancer. The research field of breath analysis uses methane as a biomarker for intestinal problems.

[ 187 , 10 ]
Surveillance of volcanic activities: CO2

Early warning systems for volcanic eruptions continuously monitor CO2 by TDLS, as it is an abundant volcanic gas.

[ 115 ]
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 ]
Combustion control in integrated gasification fuel cell cycles: CH4

Methane content of syngas is controlled to improve combustion efficiency of integrated gasification fuel cell cycles.

[ 35 ]
CO2 & CH4
Combustion control in high temperature processes: CO2 and CH4

Continuous monitoring of contents like CO2 or CH4 concentrations is essential for the efficiency of high-temperature processes in e. g. incinerators, furnaces or petrochemical refineries. Managing the CO2 content in combustion processes simultaneously reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This is also relevant for energy generating industries like coal burning power plants.

[ 154 , 124 , 121 , 115 , 112 , 111 , 96 , 94 , 62 , 45 , 40 , 35 , 12 ]

nanoplus applications in research

nanoplus lasers are versatile light sources for a wide variety of spectroscopic techniques like

  • flourescence, absorption and transmission studies
  • surface plasmon polariton experiments
  • Raman scattering

Research topics to be investigated by these techniques include

  • new biomedical applications  
  • sensitivity limits of laser based gas sensing
  • isotope fractions of various elements
  • gain and loss mechanisms in sensing lasers

The following list presents various application samples for tunable diode laser spectroscopy in research: