Carbon Dioxide Detection (CO2)

Application areas of laser-based carbon dioxide detection

nanoplus lasers for carbon dioxide detection are used for various applications including:

  • Process Optimization: Combustion control
  • Process Optimization: Steel production
  • Process Optimization: Waste incinerator
  • Environment: Emission control
  • Safety: Quality control in natural gas pipelines
  • Health: Breath gas analysis
  • Automotive: Emission control
  • Space: Isotope detection by NASA Mars Rover Curiosity
  • Research: Isotope selective detection

Tunable diode laser spectroscopy allows measuring CO2 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 dioxide detection

nanoplus offers various wavelengths to target the vibrational-rotational bands of carbon dioxide. Literature recommends the following wavelengths for carbon dioxide detection:

Select your wavelength for carbon dioxide detection

Above wavelengths as well as further customized wavelengths for carbon dioxide 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!

Figure 1: Absorption features of carbon dioxide in the 0.76 µm to 6.0 µm range
Absorption features of carbon dioxide in 760 nm to 6000 nm range

Related information for laser-based carbon dioxide detection

Specifications & Mountings


Papers & Links

The following tables analyse the typical specifications of the standard wavelengths for CO2 detection.

electro-optical properties of
1590.0 nm DFB laser diode
standard wavelengthλnm1590.0
absorption line strengthScm / mol∼ 2 x 10-23
output powerpoutmW5710
threshold currentlthmA102530
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
2004.0 nm DFB laser diode
standard wavelengthλnm2004.0
absorption line strengthScm / mol∼ 1 x 10-21
output powerpoutmW3
threshold currentlthmA102530
current tuning coefficientcTnm / mA0.010.020.05
temperature tuning coefficientcInm / K0.180.20.23
mode hop free tuning rangeΔλnm+/- 0.5
electro-optical properties of
2682.0 nm DFB laser diode
standard wavelengthλnm2682.0
absorption line strengthScm / mol∼ 1 x 10-19
output powerpoutmW2
threshold currentlthmA305080
current tuning coefficientcTnm / mA0.010.020.05
temperature tuning coefficientcInm / K0.150.20.28
mode hop free tuning rangeΔλnm+/- 0.5
electro-optical properties of
4225.0 nm DFB interband cascade laser
standard wavelengthλnm4225.0
absorption line strengthScm / mol∼ 3 x 10-18
threshold currentlthmA304060
output powerpoutmW> 3
current tuning coefficientcTnm / mA0.12
temperature tuning coefficientcInm / K0.45
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: 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. [12, 35, 40, 45, 62, 94, 96, 112, 113, 116, 122, 125]

Quality control in natural gas pipelines: CO2
CO2 is a natural diluent in oil and gas deposits. When it reacts with H2S and H2O steel pipelines corrode. Real-time monitoring of CO2 at natural gas custody transfer points is necessary to avoid contaminated gas from flowing downstream. Immediate measures may be taken to purify the natural gas. [116]

Emission control of greenhouse gases: CO2
Environmental policies have been implemented worldwide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, human activities account for more than three quarters of CO2 emissions. They are mainly due to the combustion of fossil fuels for energy generation, transportation and industry. Remote sensing technologies have been introduced to quantify CO2 and CO emissions in atmosphere. [93, 106, 116]

Monitoring of breath gas: CO2
Helicobacter pylori bacteria cause stomach ulcer. Breath analysis diagnoses such an infection in a non-invasive way replacing disagreeable gastroscopies. It uses the CO2 concentration in exhaled breath as a biomarker. [9,88, 116]

Emission control of exhaust fumes: CO2 and NOx
Guided by environmental policies, the automobile industry is concerned to reduce the carbon footprint of vehicles. Automotive suppliers develop innovative combustion engines to control CO2 and NOx concentration in exhaust fumes. [116]

Emission control of exhaust fumes: CO2
Remote sensing technologies identify unclean vehicles on the road. They help to control traffic-generated carbon dioxide emissions. [116]

NASA Mars Rover Curiosity with nanoplus laser in TDLS module SAM
NASA Mars Rover Curiosity with nanoplus laser in TDLS module SAM

Isotope detection by NASA Mars Rover Curiosity: CO2 and H2O
NASA’s flagship Rover Curiosity detects CO2 and H2O isotopes based on their tunable laser spectrometer SAM. The analysis of soil samples is to determine whether Mars is or has been a suitable living environment. We are proud that the instrument uses a 2.78 µm nanoplus laser for this measurement. [25, 116]

Surveillance of volcanic activities: CO2
Early warning systems for volcanic eruptions continuously monitor CO2 by TDLS, as it is an abundant volcanic gas. [116]

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.

#4 Laser-Based Analyzers – Shining New Stars;
P. Nesdore, Gases & Instrumentation, March/April 2011, pp. 30-33.

#9 DFB Lasers Between 760 nm and 16 µm for Sensing Applications;
W. Zeller, L. Naehle, P. Fuchs, F. Gerschuetz, L. Hildebrandt, J. Koeth, Sensors 2010, 10, pp. 2492-2510.

#12 CO2 concentration and temperature sensor for combustion gases using diode-laser absorption near 2.7 µm;
A. Farooq,  J.B. Jeffries, R.K. Hanson, Appl. Phys. B 90, 2008, pp. 619-628.

#16 Diode laser measurements of linestrength and temperature-dependent lineshape parameters of H2O-, CO2-, and N2-perturbed H2O transitions near 2474 and 2482 nm;
C.S. Goldenstein, J.B. Jeffries, R.K. Hanson, J. of Quantitative Spectr. & Radiative Transfer 130, 2013, pp. 100–111.

#19 Measurements of Mars Methane at Gale Crater by the SAM Tunable Laser Spectrometer on the Curiosity Rover;
C.R. Webster, P.R. Mahaffy, S.K. Atreya, G.J. Flesch, K.A. Farley, 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 18-22, 2013, LPI Contribution No. 1719, p.1366.

#25 Isotope Ratios of H, C, and O in CO2 and H2O of the Martian Atmosphere;
C.R. Webster, P.R. Mahaffy, G.J. Flesch, P.B. Niles, J. Jones, L.A. Leshin, S.K. Atreya, J.C. Stern, L.E. Christensen, T. Owen, H. Franz, R.O. Pepin, A. Steele, Science, 341, 6143, 2013, pp. 260-263.

#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.

#38 Monolithic widely tunable laser diodes for gas sensing at 2100 nm;
N. Koslowski, A. Heger, K. Roesner, M. Legge, L. Hildebrandt, J. Koeth, Proc. SPIE 8640, Novel In-Plane Semiconductor Lasers XII, 2013, 864008.

#40 Comb-assisted spectroscopy of CO2 absorption profiles in the near- and mid-infrared regions;
A. Gambetta, D. Gatti, A. Castrillo, N. Coluccelli, G. Galzerano, P. Laporta, L. Gianfrani, M. Marangoni, Appl. Phys. B, 109, 3, Nov. 2012, pp. 385-390.

#45 Measurements of CO2 in a multipass cell and in a hollow-core photonic bandgap fiber at 2 µm;
J. A. Nwaboh, J. Hald, J. K. Lyngsø, J. C. Petersen, O. Werhahn, Appl. Phys. B, 109, 3, Nov. 2012, pp. 187-194.

#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.

#71 Novel utilisation of a circular multi-reflection cell applied to materials ageing experiments;
D.A. Knox, A.K. King, E.D. McNaghten, S.J. Brooks, P.A. Martin, S.M. Pimblott, App. Phys. B, 2015, 119, pp. 55-64.

#88 Oxygen-18 isotope of breath CO2 linking to erythrocytes carbonic anhydrase activity: a biomarker for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes;
C. Ghosh, G. D. Banik, A. Maity, S. Som, A. Chakraborty, C. Selvan, S. Ghosh, S. Chowdhury, M. Pradhan, Scientific Reports, 2015, 5 : 8137.

#94 Compact optical probe for flame temperature and carbon dioxide using interband cascade laser absorption near 4.2 μm;
J. J. Girard, R. M. Spearrin, C. S. Goldenstein, R. K. Hanson, Elsevier, Combustion and Flame, Vol. 178, April 2017, pp. 158 – 167.

#96 Fiber-coupled 2.7 μm laser absorption sensor for CO2 in harsh combustion environments;
R. M. Spearrin, C. S. Goldenstein, J. B. Jeffries and R. K. Hanson, Meas. Sci. Technol. 24, April 2013, 055107.

#104 Mid-infrared heterodyne phase-sensitive dispersion spectroscopy in flame measurements;
L. Ma, Z. Wang, K.-P. Cheong, H. Ning, W. Ren, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 2018, pp. 1 - 8.

#106 Design and performance of a dual-laser instrument for multiple isotopologues of carbon dioxide and water;
J. B. McManus, D. D. Nelson and M. S. Zahniser, Optics Express Vol. 23, Issue 5, 2015, pp. 6569-6586.

# 107 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.

#112 Mid-infrared heterodyne phase-sensitive dispersion spectroscopy in flame measurements;
L. Ma, Z. Wang, K.-P. Cheong, H. Ning, W. Ren, Pro. of the Comb. Inst. Vol. 37, Issue 2, 2019, pp. 1329 - 1336.

#116 A portable low-power QEPAS-based CO2 isotope sensor using a fiber-coupled interband cascade laser;
Z. Wanga, Q. Wanga, J. Y.-L. Chingb, J. C.-Y. Wub, G. Zhangc, W. Rena,∗Sensors and Actuators, B 246, 2017, pp. 710–715.

#122 A comparative laser absorption and gas chromatography study of low-temperature n-heptane oxidation intermediates;
A. M. Ferris, J. W. Streicher, A. J. Susa, D. F. Davidson, R. K. Hanson, Proc. of the Comb. Inst. Vol. 37, Iss. 1, 2019, pp. 249-257.

# 125 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.

#134 Midinfrared sensor system based on tunable laser absorption spectroscopy for dissolved carbon dioxide analysis in the south china sea: system-level integration and deployment;
Z. Liu, C. Zheng, T. Zhang, Y. Li, Q. Ren, C. Chen, W. Ye, Y. Zhang, Y. Wang, F. K. Tittel, Anal. Chem., Vol. 92, Iss. 12, 2020, pp. 8178 − 8185.

#138 Line mixing and broadening of carbon dioxide by argon in the v3 bandhead near 4.2 μm at high temperatures and high pressures;
D. D. Lee, F. A. Bendana, A. P. Nair, D. I. Pineda , R. M. Spearrin, Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy & Radiative Transfer, No. 253, 2020, 107135.

#140 Development of a Method for Non‐Invasive Measurement of Absolute Pressure in Partially Transparent Containers with Carbonated Beverages;
M. Grafen, M. Falkenstein, A. Ostendorf, C. Esen, Chemie, Ingenieur, Technik, Vol. 92, Iss. 11, Spec. Iss.: Bioraffinerien, Nov. 2020, pp 1830 - 1839.

#151 In‑situ thermochemical analysis of hybrid rocket fuel oxidation via laser absorption tomography of CO, CO2, and H2O;
F. A. Bendana, I. C. Sanders, J. J. Castillo, C. G. Hagström, D. I. Pineda, R. M. Spearrin, Experiments in Fluids, Iss. 9, Art. 190, 2020.