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Dipartimento di Fisica - Politecnico di Milano

COmb-aSsisted MOlecular Specroscopy (COSMOS)

Research activity

Located in the Lecco Campus of Politecnico di Milano, COSMOS laboratory focus the research activity on the field of high-precision and high-sensitivity molecular spectroscopy in collaborations with universities, research institutes and companies of national and international importance (Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnology of the CNR, Toptica  Photonics, University of Torun, University of Grenoble, University of Bologna, KAUST,…).
Laser sources called frequency combs, in combination with the latest optical technologies, allows us to measure molecular absorptions in gaseous samples with extreme sensitivity and accuracy both in the near (1-2 µm) and mid-infrared region (5-15 µm). These measurements constitute the basis for the study of fundamental physics and for the development of applications in environmental, medical and industrial fields.

FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICS: measurements of molecular absorption spectra of gaseous samples both in the near and mid-infrared with very high accuracy are of interest in meteorological, environmental and astrophysical fields, and for the retrieval of fundamental constants:
• Spectroscopic characterization of molecules in the meteorological, environmental, medical and combustion processes
• Retrieval of spectroscopic parameters to better understand the molecular energy structure
• Measurement of fundamental constants of physics, such as the ratio of proton to electron mass, as a benchmark of new physical theories

APPLIED RESEARCH: development of advanced tools for gas detection in environmental, industrial and diagnostic frameworks:
• Laser systems for the detection of individual molecular species present in the atmosphere with extremely low concentrations, of the order of a few parts per billion (ppb)
• Next-generation spectrometers for real-time identification and quantification of high-resolution gas mixtures for diagnostics of complex gaseous environments, such as human breath or industrial waste, or for monitoring greenhouse/polluting gases

Facilities

• Erbium and thulium frequency combs emitting in spectral regions around 1.5 µm and 2 µm respectively
• Laser sources: extended cavity diode lasers, DFB lasers, single-frequency fibre laser in the region close to 1.5 µm, He-Ne green laser and quantum cascade lasers emitting in the region between 5 and 9 µm
• Gas cells for both single- and multiple-pass spectroscopic measurements. High-finesse optical cavities
• Acquisition boards based on a high sample rate PXI interface (up to 100 MS/s) equipped with an FPGA board for advanced real-time processing of large amounts of data



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