The molecular spectroscopy of CO2 is important for testing of performance enhancing drugs such as synthetic testosterone, and forensic analysis of illicit drugs such as heroine. The monitoring of atmospheric CO2 isotopes also provides an important tool for understanding the carbon cycle dynamics of the earth's climate system.
In this project, we use lasers to measure spectral absorption in CO2 using high-resolution optical interferometry. The sensitivity is further enhanced using resonant optical cavities to extend the interaction time between light and gas.
Developing these systems requires a multi-disciplinary approach to R&D, and there are several experimental projects to work on. This includes, but is not limited to, optical system design, laser stabilisation & calibration, physical chemistry, mechanical design, and control systems.
Students will require a background in optics. Depending on the project specifics, knowledge of digital signal processing, chemistry or control systems is helpful but not required.