Improving the Signal to Noise Ratio of QTF Preamplifiers Dedicated for QEPAS Applications
Wieczorek, Piotr Z.; Starecki, Tomasz; Tittel, Frank K.
The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is a major factor that limits the detection sensitivity of quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS) sensors. The higher the electrical signal level compared to the noise amplitude is the lower the concentration of gases that can be detected. For this reason the preamplifier circuits used in QEPAS should be optimized for low-frequency narrow-band applications. Moreover, special care should be taken when choosing a particular operational amplifier in either a transimpedance or voltage (differential) configuration. It turns out that depending on the preamp topology different operational amplifier parameters should be carefully considered when a high SNR of the whole QEPAS system is required. In this article we analyzed the influence of the crucial parameters of low-noise operational preamplifiers used in QEPAS applications and show the resulting limitations of transimpedance and voltage configurations.
quartz tuning fork; quartz enhanced photoacoustic; QEPAS sensor preamplifier; QTF front-end electronics