Use of the optogalvanic effect (OGE) for isotope ratio spectrometry of 13CO2 and 14CO2

Daniel E. Murnick, Joseph O. Okil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The use of isotopic carbon dioxide lasers for determination of carbon (and oxygen) isotope ratios was first demonstrated in 1994. Since then a commercial device called LARA™, has been manufactured and used for Helicobacter pylori breath tests using 13C-labelled urea. The major advantages of the optogalvanic effect compared with other infrared absorption isotope ratio measurement techniques are its lack of optical background and its high sensitivity resulting from a signal gain proportional to laser power. Continuous normalisation using two cells, a standard and sample, lead to high accuracy as well as precision. Recent advances in continuous flow measurement of 13C/12C ratios of CO2 in air and extensions of the technique to 14C, which can be analysed as a stable isotope, are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalIsotopes in Environmental and Health Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Inorganic Chemistry


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Carbon-13
  • Carbon-14
  • IR spectrometry
  • Isotope analysis
  • Isotopic carbon dioxide lasers
  • Optogalvanic detection


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