A team of researchers working with Kerry Vahala and including former Resnick postdoctoral fellow Chengying Bao have published a paper detailing their design of a new spectrometer that might improve our ability to detect trace gases such as methane. The sensor is based on a novel optical device called a dual-comb spectrometer, and the group has demonstrated the ability to generate all the needed optical inputs from a single microcavity, which means that these new sensors hold the possibility of being produced at relatively low cost on a single microchip, making it easier to deploy multiple devices to detect leaks from wells, landfills, or other key emissions sources. You can read the details in their recent paper, "Architecture for microcomb-based GHz-mid-infrared dual-comb spectroscopy."
We report the development of on-chip, microcomb-based mid-infrared dual-comb spectroscopy (DCS) with GHz resolution for trace gas sensing.
Significance and Impact
This approach could lead to the development of compact, highly sensitive, scalable gas sensors for field monitoring of greenhouse gas concentrations.
- Interleaved difference-frequency-generation is used for GHz mid-IR comb generation
- Counter-propagating solitons from a single silica microcavity provide improved stability and a simplified system architecture.