Spectroscopic diagnostics of chemical processes

Applications of tunable optical parametric oscillators

G. W. Baxter, M. A. Payne, B. D. W. Austin, C. A. Halloway, J. G. Haub, Y. He, A. P. Milce, J. F. Nibler, B. J. Orr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Optical parametric oscillator (OPO) and amplifier (OPA) devices are useful for spectroscopic sensing of chemical processes in laboratory, industrial, and environmental settings. This is particularly true of nanosecond-pulsed, continuously tunable OPO/OPA systems, for which we survey a variety of instrumental strategies, together with actual spectroscopic measurements. The relative merits of OPO wavelength control by intracavity gratings and by injection seeding are considered. A major innovation comprises an OPO with a ring cavity based on periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) and injection-seeded by a single-mode tunable diode laser (TDL). Active cavity control by an 'intensity dip' method yields an optical bandwidth ≤ 0.005 cm-1 (150 MHz), which compares favourably with the performance of advanced grating-tuned OPO/OPA systems. A novel adaptation of this TDL-seeded PPLN OPO employs a compact, inexpensive multimode pump laser, with which it is still possible to obtain continuously tunable single-mode signal output. Cavity ringdown (CRD) spectroscopy also figures prominently, with infrared (IR) CRD spectra from both grating-scanned and TDL-seeded OPOs reported. Finally, a tunable ultraviolet (UV) source, combining a TDL-seeded passive-cavity OPO and a sum-frequency generation stage, is developed for measurements of time-resolved IR-UV double resonance spectra of acetylene and UV laser-induced fluorescence spectra of nitric oxide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-663
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Physics B: Lasers and Optics
Volume71
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2000

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