Real time ammonia detection in exhaled human breath using a distributed feedback quantum cascade laser based sensor

Rafał Lewicki, Anatoliy A. Kosterev, David M. Thomazy, Terence H. Risby, Steven Solga, Timothy B. Schwartz, Frank K. Tittel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

A continuous wave, thermoelectrically cooled, distributed feedback quantum cascade laser (DFB-QCL) based sensor platform for the quantitative detection of ammonia (NH3) concentrations present in exhaled human breath is reported. The NH3 concentration measurements are performed with a 2f wavelength modulation quartz enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS) technique, which is very well suited for real time breath analysis, due to the fast gas exchange inside a compact QEPAS gas cell. An air-cooled DFB-QCL was designed to target the interference-free NH3 absorption line located at 967.35 cm-1 (λ∼10.34 μm). The laser is operated at 17.5 °C, emitting ∼ 24 mW of optical power at the selected wavelength. A 1σ minimum detectable concentration of ammonia for the line-locked NH3 sensor is ∼ 6 ppb with 1 sec time resolution. The NH3 sensor, packaged in a 12"x14"x10" housing, is currently installed at a medical breath research center in Bethlehem, PA and tested as an instrument for non-invasive verification of liver and kidney disorders based on human breath samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationQuantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices VIII
DOIs
StatePublished - May 13 2011
EventQuantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices VIII - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2011Jan 27 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume7945
ISSN (Print)0277-786X

Other

OtherQuantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices VIII
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA
Period1/23/111/27/11

Keywords

  • Quartz enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy
  • distributed feedback quantum cascade laser
  • trace gas ammonia detection
  • wavelength modulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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