„Exploring new techniques in high-resolution infrared spectroscopy”
(acronym: HIRES)

Project supported by the National Science Centre, Poland under the „SONATA 8” programme

Total cost: 484 050,00 PLN
Centre Contribution: 484 050,00 PLN
Duration: 14/09/2015 – 13/03/2018

Principal Investigator: dr inż. Michał Nikodem

Laser spectroscopy is a powerful tool in chemical detection, particularly in trace gas sensing. In contrast to techniques which typically require laboratory conditions (mass spectrometry, gas chromatography or Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) sensing instrumentation that uses narrow linewidth, compact semiconductor lasers can be operated in real-world, non-laboratory environments. Laser-based gas sensing is usually realized using one of two spectral regions – ultraviolet (UV) or infrared (IR). In UV one can target strong electronic transitions. However these spectral features are broad which significantly affects selectivity of the measurement. On the other hand, transitions in the infrared region (wavelengths between 1 and 20 μm) are sharp, thus highly selective detection even at atmospheric pressures is possible. Moreover, at mW power levels IR light (>1.4 μm) can be considered “eye-safe” which is critical in applications such as open-path, remote or standoff gas detection. When laser is operated at the wavelength close to the molecular resonance, interaction with molecules affects light wave in two ways: it is being absorbed and its phase is changed. Both effects can be used for gas concentration sensing. One can simply pass the light beam through gas sample and measure either optical power (absorption spectroscopy) or phase change (dispersion spectroscopy) for wavelengths in the vicinity of the resonance.
Proposed research program aims in obtaining new knowledge and know-how in the field of infrared laser spectroscopy and laser technology. Main goal of this project is to better understand techniques for high resolution laser spectroscopy and gas sensing and techniques. Results obtained during realization of the project will publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals and during domestic and international conferences. We are hoping that realization of the project will also enable establishing new scientific connections with other groups in Poland and Europe working in the field of laser sensing, photonics, environmental monitoring.