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Spectroscopy of methane using a vertical cavity surface-emitting laser system with emphasis on development for portable applications Open Access


Other title
second harmonic detection
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Dzikowski, Matthew
Supervisor and department
Tulip, John (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Jaeger, Wolfgang (Chemistry)
Tulip, John (ECE)
Tsui, Ying (ECE)
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
There is a great deal of interest in monitoring atmospheric greenhouse gases such as methane. Although distributed feedback edge-emitting lasers are often used for atmospheric detection, the development of the vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) has allowed for an alternative source. The VCSEL exhibits several advantages over distributed feedback (DFB), edge-emitting lasers, especially in terms of power requirements and tuning capabilities. A second harmonic spectroscopy system based on a VCSEL laser is presented. Battery operation of the driver, temperature control and receiver is achieved. The system is used to detect methane gas in open path situations, as well as in gas cylinders. Temperature and current scanning are compared as methods for laser wavelength modulation. Mathematical methods for characterizing and filtering absorption signals are investigated. The receiver system is also used with a DFB laser to compare performance with the VCSEL. A software receiver using LabVIEW is implemented, and its performance is compared with the hardware designs. A minimum detectable limit of 1.4 ppm•m of methane for the hardware receiver is reported.
License granted by Matthew Dzikowski ( on 2009-09-30T22:17:45Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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