Ppbv-Level Ethane Detection Using Quartz-Enhanced Photoacoustic Spectroscopy with a Continuous-Wave, Room Temperature Interband Cascade Laser
Tittel, Frank K.
A ppbv-level quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS)-based ethane (C2H6) sensor was demonstrated by using a 3.3 μm continuous-wave (CW), distributed feedback (DFB) interband cascade laser (ICL). The ICL was employed for targeting a strong C2H6 absorption line located at 2996.88 cm−1 in its fundamental absorption band. Wavelength modulation spectroscopy (WMS) combined with the second harmonic (2f) detection technique was utilized to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and simplify data acquisition and processing. Gas pressure and laser frequency modulation depth were optimized to be 100 Torr and 0.106 cm−1, respectively, for maximizing the 2f signal amplitude. Performance of the QEPAS sensor was evaluated using specially prepared C2H6 samples. A detection limit of 11 parts per billion in volume (ppbv) was obtained with a 1-s integration time based on an Allan-Werle variance analysis, and the detection precision can be further improved to ~1.5 ppbv by increasing the integration time up to 230 s.
laser sensors; infrared spectroscopy; semiconductor quantum cascade lasers