The present invention provides a photoacoustic spectrometer that is field portable and capable of speciating complex organic molecules in the gas phase. The spectrometer has a tunable light source that has the ability to resolve the fine structure of these molecules over a large wavelength range. The inventive light source includes an optical parametric oscillator (OPO) having combined fine and coarse tuning. By pumping the OPO with the output from a doped-fiber optical amplifier pumped by a diode seed laser, the inventive spectrometer is able to speciate mixtures having parts per billion of organic compounds, with a light source that has a high efficiency and small size, allowing for portability. In an alternative embodiment, the spectrometer is scanned by controlling the laser wavelength, thus resulting in an even more compact and efficient design.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.