Quartz-enhanced photoacoustic sensor for ethylene detection implementing optimized custom tuning fork-based spectrophone
The design and realization of two highly sensitive and easily interchangeable spectrophones based on custom quartz tuning forks, with a rectangular (S1) or T-shaped (S2) prongs geometry, is reported. The two spectrophones have been implemented in a QEPAS sensor for ethylene detection, employing a DFB-QCL emitting at 10.337 μm with an optical power of 74.2 mW. A comparison between their performances showed a signal-to-noise ratio 3.4 times higher when implementing the S2 spectrophone. For the S2-based sensor, a linear dependence of the QEPAS signal on ethylene concentration was demonstrated in the 5 ppm −100 ppm range. For a 10 s lock-in integration time, an ethylene minimum detection limit of 10 ppb was calculated.