Applications Research Introduction

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:

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. [30, 106]

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. [3, 12, 35, 48, 111, 125]

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]

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]

Combustion control in high temperature processes: H2O
Water vapour is often examined in combustion and propulsion processes as it is a primary product of hydrogen and hydrocarbon fuels. [15, 16, 17, 28, 65, 70, 121, 122]

Monitoring of breath gas: C2H6 and C2H2
Medical breath analysis considers ethane and acetylene as a biomarkers for asthma, schizophrenia or lung cancer. The research field of breath analysis uses methane as a biomarker for intestinal problems. [10]

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]

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

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]

Chemical sensing using surface plasmon polariton:
A 3.6 µm ICL is used to enhance the reading of the surface plasmon polariton effect. [83]

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