A photoacoustic (PA) sensor for fast and real-time gas sensing is demonstrated. The PA cell has been designed for flow noise immunity using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis. PA measurements were conducted at different flow rates by exciting molecular C-H stretch vibrational bands of hexane (C6H14) in clean air at 2950cm-1 (3.38 μm) with a custom made mid-infrared interband cascade laser (ICL). The PA sensor will contribute to solve a major problem in a number of industries using compressed air by the detection of oil contaminants in high purity compressed air. We observe a (1σ, standard deviation) sensitivity of 0.4 ±0.1 ppb (nmol/mol) for hexane in clean air at flow rates up to 2 L/min, corresponding to a normalized noise equivalent absorption (NNEA) coefficient of 2.5×10-9 W cm-1 Hz1/2, thus demonstrating high sensitivity and fast and real-time gas analysis. The PA sensor is not limited to molecules with C-H stretching modes, but can be tailored to measure any trace gas by simply changing the excitation wavelength (i.e. the laser source) making it useful for many different applications where fast and sensitive trace gas measurements are needed.
Jan C. Petersen, David Balslev-Harder, Nikola Pelevic, Anders Brusch, Stefan Persijn, and Mikael Lassen, "Flow immune photoacoustic sensor for real-time and fast sampling of trace gases," Proc. SPIE 10539, Photonic Instrumentation Engineering V, 105390G (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2018; Published: 22 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2291064.
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