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 journalArticlepeer-review

    54 Citations (Scopus)


    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
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2000


    Dive into the research topics of 'Spectroscopic diagnostics of chemical processes: Applications of tunable optical parametric oscillators'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this