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Applied Laser Spectroscopy

Research group Combustion diagnostics, exhaled breath gas analysis and chemical imaging

Sensitive detection and accurate quantification of atoms and molecules in gas phase is an important aspect in many fields of natural science and industrial branches. The Applied Laser Spectroscopy group develops novel laser-based spectroscopic techniques and optical sensors and conducts interdisciplinary research in fields such as energy technology and medical science.

In situ real-time combustion diagnostics

In the quest for a more sustainable society, thermochemical conversion of biomass from forest or agricultural residues and waste can be used to replace fossil fuels in heat and power generation, as well as the production of transport fuels and chemicals. Rapid in situ diagnostics is needed to better understand, optimize and control the high-temperature combustion and gasification processes. Our research focus lies on detection of major species, gas temperature, soot and inorganic compounds, such as potassium.

Key publications

1. E. Thorin and F. M. Schmidt, TDLAS-based photofragmentation spectroscopy for detection of K and KOH in flames under optically thick conditions, Optics Letters 45, 5230-5233 (2020),

2. A. Sepman, Y. Ögren, Z. Qu, H. Wiinikka, F. M. Schmidt, Real-time in situ multi-parameter TDLAS sensing in the reactor core of an entrained-flow biomass gasifier, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 36, 4541-4548 (2017),   

3. Z. Qu, E. Steinvall, R. Ghorbani, F. M. Schmidt, Tunable diode laser atomic absorption spectroscopy for detection of potassium under optically thick conditions, Analytical Chemistry 88, 3754–3760 (2016),

4. Z. Qu, R. Ghorbani, D. Valiev, F. M. Schmidt, Calibration-free scanned wavelength modulation spectroscopy – application to H2O and temperature sensing in flames, Optics Express 23, 16492-16499 (2015),

Real-time breath gas analysis

Breath gas analysis is a rapidly growing area of ​​research aiming at fast, non-invasive detection of biomarkers in exhaled breath relevant to medical diagnostics, physiology and toxicology. The method has the potential to revolutionize non-invasive point-of-care and personalized diagnostics. Further research is needed to develop analytical techniques for reliable quantification of the biomarker molecules, and to better understand their origin down to the cellular level. The current focus of our research is on real-time analysis of small gasotransmitter (signalling) molecules, such as carbon monoxide, and their role in respiratory diseases. 

Key publications

1. R. Ghorbani and F. M. Schmidt, Fitting of single-exhalation profiles using a pulmonary gas exchange model – application to carbon monoxide, Journal of Breath Research 13 026001 (2019),

2. R. Ghorbani, A. Blomberg, F. M. Schmidt, Modeling pulmonary gas exchange and single-exhalation profiles of carbon monoxide, Frontiers in Physiology 9 927 (2018),

3. R. Ghorbani and F. M. Schmidt, ICL-based TDLAS sensor for real-time breath gas analysis of carbon monoxide isotopes, Optics Express 25, 12743-12752 (2017),                

4. F. M. Schmidt, O. Vaittinen, M. Metsälä, M. Lehto, C. Forsblom, P.-H. Groop, L. Halonen, Ammonia in breath and emitted from skin, Journal of Breath Research 7, 017109 (2013),

Collaboration partners at Umeå University include the Thermochemical Energy Conversion Laboratory (TEC-Lab), the Department of Physics and the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Further collaborations are with e.g. RISE Energy Technology Center Piteå, Luleå University of Technology, Lund University, University of Helsinki, Tsinghua University, and the strategic research environments Swedish Gasification Center and Bio4Energy.

Contact information

Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, TEC-Lab
KBC-building, Linnaeus väg 6                                                                  901 87 Umeå

Visiting Address
KBC-building, KB.G7, Room: 7.07.17

Former group members

Dr. Ramin Ghorbani, Scania, Sweden

Dr. Damir Valiev, Center for Combustion Energy, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Dr. Zhechao Qu, PTB Braunschweig, Germany

Research funding

Vetenskapsrådet - Swedish Research Council

Energimyndigheten- Swedish Energy Agency

Kempestiftelserna - The Kempe Foundations

SFO-Bio4Energy - Strategic Research Environment

Swedish Gasification Center

Related information

Thermochemical Energy Conversion Laboratory 

Head of research group

Florian Schmidt
Associate professor


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Applied Physics and Electronics

Research area

Energy engineering, Medical technology, Physical sciences
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