An innovative and novel quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS) sensor for highly sensitive and selective breath gas analysis is introduced. The QEPAS sensor consists of two acoustically coupled micro- resonators (mR) with an off-axis 20 kHz quartz tuning fork (QTF). The complete acoustically coupled mR system is optimized based on finite element simulations and experimentally verified. Due to the very low fabrication costs the QEPAS sensor presents a clear breakthrough in the field of photoacoustic spectroscopy by introducing novel disposable gas chambers in order to avoid cleaning after each test. The QEPAS sensor is pumped resonantly by a nanosecond pulsed single-mode mid-infrared optical parametric oscillator (MIR OPO). Spectroscopic measurements of methane and methanol in the 3.1 μm to 3.7 μm wavelength region is conducted. Demonstrating a resolution bandwidth of 1 cm-1. An Allan deviation analysis shows that the detection limit at optimum integration time for the QEPAS sensor is 32 ppbv@190s for methane and that the background noise is solely due to the thermal noise of the QTF. Spectra of both individual molecules as well as mixtures of molecules were measured and analyzed. The molecules are representative of exhaled breath gasses that are bio-markers for medical diagnostics.
Jan C. Petersen, Laurent Lamard, Yuyang Feng, Jeff-F. Focant, Andre Peremans, and Mikael Lassen, "Quartz-enhanced photo-acoustic spectroscopy for breath analyses," Proc. SPIE 10055, Optics and Biophotonics in Low-Resource Settings III, 1005503 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2017; Published: 3 March 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252896.
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