High-precision ethanol measurement by mid-IR laser absorption spectroscopy for metrological applications

Oleg Aseev, Béla Tuzson, Herbert Looser, Philipp Scheidegger, Chang Liu, Carina Morstein, Bernhard Niederhauser, Lukas Emmenegger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on the development and validation of a compact laser instrument using mid-IR direct absorption spectroscopy (DAS) for high-precision measurements of ethanol in breath-like air mixtures. Leveraging the intermittent continuous wave (iCW) driving for conventional narrow-band distributed feedback (DFB) quantum cascade laser (QCL) emitting around 9.3 µm and using a 25 m path length multiple-pass absorption cell at reduced pressure, a precision of 9 ppb (amount fraction, nmol mol−1) at 60 s integration time is achieved even in the presence of 5% of H2O and CO2. Thus, the instrument is well suitable for metrological studies to investigate observed, but yet unquantified, discrepancies between different breath alcohol reference-generation methods. The approach can be generalized and applied for other organic molecules in a wide range of applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5314-5325
JournalOptics Express
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2019

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