QCLAS and CRDS-based CO quantification as aimed at in breath measurements

A. Nwaboh, S. Persijn, K. Heinrich, M. Sowa, P. Hering, O. Werhahn, “QCLAS and CRDS-based CO quantification as aimed at in breath measurements”, International Journal of Spectroscopy, vol. 2012, Article ID 894841, 10 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/894841.

Laser-spectrometric methods to derive absolute and traceable carbon monoxide (CO) amount fractions in exhaled human breath could be of advantage for early disease detection as well as for treatment monitoring. As proof-of-principle laboratory experiment, we employed intra-pulse and continuous wave (cw) quantum cascade laser spectroscopy (QCLAS), both at 4.6 μm. Additional experiments were carried out applying cw cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) with a CO sideband laser and a QCL. We emphasize metrological data quality objectives, that is, traceability and uncertainty, which could serve as essential benefits to exhaled breath measurements. The results were evaluated and compared on a 100 μmol/mol CO level using the two QCLAS spectrometers, and the cw CO sideband laser CRDS setup. The relative standard uncertainties of the pulsed and the cw QCLAS CO amount fraction results were ±4.8 and ±2.8%, respectively, that from the CO sideband laser CRDS was ±2.7%. Sensitivities down to a 3 nmol/mol CO level were finally demonstrated and quantified by means of cw CRDS equipped with a QCL yielding standard uncertainties of about ±2.5 that are exclusively limited by the available line strength figure quality. With this study we demonstrate the achieved comparability of CO quantifications, adhering metrological principles.

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For more information contact Stefan Persijn, spersijn@vsl.nl