Radiocarbon dioxide detection based on cavity ring-down spectroscopy and a quantum cascade laser

G. Genoud, M. Vainio, H. Phillips, J. Dean, M. Merimaa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Monitoring of radiocarbon (14C) in carbon dioxide is demonstrated using mid-infrared spectroscopy and a quantum cascade laser. The measurement is based on cavity ring-down spectroscopy, and a high sensitivity is achieved with a simple setup. The instrument was tested using a standardized sample containing elevated levels of radiocarbon. Radiocarbon dioxide could be detected from samples with an isotopic ratio 14C/C as low as 50 parts-per-trillion, corresponding to an activity of 5 kBq/m3 in pure CO2, or 2 Bq/m3 in air after extraction of the CO2 from an air sample. The instrument is simple, compact, and robust, making it the ideal tool for on-site measurements. It is aimed for monitoring radioactive gaseous emissions in a nuclear power environment, during the operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants. Its high sensitivity also makes it the ideal tool for the detection of leaks in radioactive waste repositories.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1342-1345
    Number of pages4
    JournalOptics Letters
    Volume40
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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