Manish Gupta This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Andrew P. Chan, Michael N. Sullivan, Rupal M. Gupta

Nikira Labs Inc., Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

Received: January 27, 2022
Revised: June 13, 2022
Accepted: July 18, 2022

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Gupta, M., Chan, A.P., Sullivan, M.N., Gupta, R.M. (2022). Trace Measurements of Ethylene Oxide Using Cavity-enhanced Absorption Spectrometry near 3066 cm–1. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.


  • Mid-infrared laser analyzer to detect trace levels of ethylene oxide.
  • New fit function to account for ambient absorption.
  • Real-time ethylene oxide measurements with ±1 ppb (1s, 60 s) precision.
  • Used to measure deliberate ethylene oxide releases in ambient air.


Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a key carcinogen that is widely used in chemical manufacturing and biotechnology industries. Recent work has suggested that permissible exposure limits for EtO be reduced from 1–5 ppm to sub-ppb levels. Such new standards will require new methodologies that are capable of measuring EtO with the requisite precision. In this paper, we demonstrate a new analyzer based on cavity-enhanced absorption spectrometry that utilizes a broad EtO absorption feature near 3066 cm-1. A fit function is developed that includes water, methane, and EtO absorbances and accounts for absorption both inside and outside the cavity. A methane standard is used to determine the cavity gain factor, and the EtO absorbance spectrum is empirically determined. The final system shows excellent linearity from 0 – 909 ppb EtO (R2 ~0.9999) with a measurement precision of better than ±1 ppb (1s, 60 seconds) that improved to ±0.5 ppb (1s, 15 minutes). Deliberate ambient EtO releases demonstrate the instrument’s utility in rapidly detecting hazardous conditions. Further work will include improving the measurement precision and directly comparing the system to EPA Method TO-15.

Keywords: Ethylene oxide, Cavity ringdown, ICOS, EtO

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