Quantum cascade laser-based multipass absorption system for hydrogen peroxide detection
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a relevant molecular trace gas species, that is related to the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere, the production of radical species such as OH, the generation of sulfate aerosol via oxidation of S(IV) to S(VI), and the formation of acid rain. The detection of atmospheric H2O2 involves specific challenges due to its high reactivity and low concentration (ppbv to sub-ppbv level). Traditional methods for measuring atmospheric H2O2 concentration are often based on wet-chemistry methods that require a transfer from the gas- to liquid-phase for a subsequent determination by techniques such as fluorescence spectroscopy, which can lead to problems such as sampling artifacts and interference by other atmospheric constituents. A quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy-based system for the measurement of atmospheric H2O2 with a detection limit of 75 ppb for 1-s integration time was previously reported. In this paper, an updated H2O2 detection system based on long-optical-path-length absorption spectroscopy by using a distributed feedback quantum cascade laser (DFB-QCL) will be described. A 7.73-μm CW-DFB-QCL and a thermoelectrically cooled infrared detector, optimized for a wavelength of 8 μm, are employed for theH2O2 sensor system. A commercial astigmatic Herriott multi-pass cell with an effective optical path-length of 76 m is utilized for the reported QCL multipass absorption system. Wavelength modulation spectroscopy (WMS) with second harmonic detection is used for enhancing the signal-to-noise-ratio. A minimum detection limit of 13.4 ppb is achieved with a 2 s sampling time. Based on an Allan-Werle deviation analysis the minimum detection limit can be improved to 1.5 ppb when using an averaging time of 300 s.
quantum cascade lasers; multipass absorption cell; wavelength modulation; hydrogen peroxide; minimum detection limit