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.
A photoacoustic (PA) sensor for spectroscopic measurements of NO2-N2 at ambient pressure and temperature is demonstrated. The PA sensor is pumped resonantly by a nanosecond pulsed single-mode mid-infrared (MIR) optical parametric oscillator (OPO). Spectroscopic measurements of NO2-N2 in the 3.25 μm to 3.55 μm wavelength region with a resolution bandwidth of 5 cm-1 and with a single shot detection limit of 1.6 ppmV (μmol/mol) is demonstrated. The measurements were conducted with a constant flow rate of 300 ml/min, thus demonstrating the suitability of the gas sensor for real time trace gas measurements. The acquired spectra is compared with data from the Hitran database and good agreement is found. An Allan deviation analysis shows that the detection limit at optimum integration time for the PAS sensor is 14 ppbV (nmol/mol) at 170 seconds of integration time, corresponding to a normalized noise equivalent absorption (NNEA) coefficient of 3.3×10-7 W cm-1 Hz-1/2.
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.
Fluctuations in the field of a 2nd order nonlinear multi-mode parametric downcoverter exhibit nonclassical correlations in the transverse plane. We present results of measurements of the classical pattern for a degenerate, multi-mode parametric optical parametric oscillator (OPO) operating above threshold. We also present results of autocorrelation measurements of intensity fluctuations in the transverse plane both in the near field and in the far field with the OPO operating both below and above threshold -- a method we believe will ultimately enable us to display the nonclassical correlations of the OPO output.