Special Section on Quantum and Interband Cascade Lasers

Use of quantum cascade lasers for detection of explosives: progress and challenges

[+] Author Affiliations
Christoph Bauer

Clausthal University of Technology, Laser Application Center, Am Stollen 19, Goslar, Germany 38640

Ulrike Willer

Clausthal University of Technology, Energie-Forschungszentrum Niedersachsen, Am Stollen 19, Goslar, Germany 38640

Wolfgang Schade

Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and Clausthal University of Technology, Laser Application Center, Am Stollen 19, Goslar, Germany 38640

Opt. Eng. 49(11), 111126 (November 12, 2010). doi:10.1117/1.3498771
History: Received May 03, 2010; Revised June 24, 2010; Accepted June 24, 2010; Published November 12, 2010
Text Size: A A A

Detection of explosives is an emerging task for maintaining civil security. Optical methods and especially tunable diode laser spectroscopy are discussed as means for providing fast and reliable data. Selective and sensitive detection is possible in the midinfrared spectral region; however, until recently, small and easy to operate laser sources were not readily available for applications outside the laboratory. The situation changes with the maturation of quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). We present detection methods based on photofragmentation and subsequent midinfrared detection of the fragments for the detection of nitrogen-based explosives. For this type of explosive, the very low vapor pressure makes the use of direct spectroscopic techniques extremely difficult, since the equilibrium concentrations are in the ppb to ppt range. Peroxide-based explosives like triacetone triperoxide possess a much higher vapor pressure, making direct absorption spectroscopy and also a quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy sensor possible. The progress and challenges of the application of QCLs, also with respect to interferences with other molecules present, are discussed.

Figures in this Article
© 2010 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Christoph Bauer ; Ulrike Willer and Wolfgang Schade
"Use of quantum cascade lasers for detection of explosives: progress and challenges", Opt. Eng. 49(11), 111126 (November 12, 2010). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3498771


Tables

Access This Article
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($20 for members, $25 for non-members).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Related Book Chapters

Topic Collections

PubMed Articles
Advertisement
  • Don't have an account?
  • Subscribe to the SPIE Digital Library
  • Create a FREE account to sign up for Digital Library content alerts and gain access to institutional subscriptions remotely.
Access This Article
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($20 for members, $25 for non-members).
Access This Proceeding
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($15 for members, $18 for non-members).
Access This Chapter

Access to SPIE eBooks is limited to subscribing institutions and is not available as part of a personal subscription. Print or electronic versions of individual SPIE books may be purchased via SPIE.org.