Quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy exploiting a fast and wideband electro-mechanical light modulator
A quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS) gas sensor exploiting a fast and wideband electro-mechanical light modulator was developed. The modulator was designed based on the electro-mechanical effect of a commercial quartz tuning fork (QTF). The laser beam was directed on the edge surface of the QTF prongs. The configuration of the laser beam and the QTF was optimized in detail in order to achieve a modulation efficiency of ∼100%. The L-band single wavelength laser diode and a C-band tunable continuous wave laser were used to verify the performance of the developed QTF modulator, respectively, realizing a QEPAS sensor based on amplitude modulation (AM). As proof of concept, the AM-based QEPAS sensor demonstrated a detection limit of 45 ppm for H2O and 50 ppm for CO2 with a 1 s integration time respectively.