Fiber-Optic Ring-Down Spectroscopy Using a Tunable Picosecond Gain-Switched Diode Laser
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Visible and near-infrared laser light pulses were coupled into two different types of optical fiber cavities. One cavity consisted of a short strand of fiber waveguide that contained two identical fiber Bragg gratings. Another cavity was made using a loop of optical fiber. In either cavity ∼ 40 ps laser pulses, which were generated using a custom-built gainswitched diode laser, circulated for a large number of round trips. The optical loss of either cavity was determined from the ring-down times. Cavity ring-down spectroscopy was performed on 200 pL volumes of liquid samples that were injected into the cavities using a 100 μm gap in the fiber loop. A detection limit of 20 ppm of methylene blue dye in aqueous solution, corresponding to a minimum absorptivity of εC < 6 cm−1, was realized.