Ppb-level formaldehyde detection using a CW room-temperature interband cascade laser and a miniature dense pattern multipass gas cell
Tittel, Frank K.
A ppb-level formaldehyde (H2CO) sensor was developed using a thermoelectrically cooled (TEC), continuous-wave (CW) room temperature interband cascade laser (ICL) emitting at 3.59 μm and a miniature dense pattern multipass gas cell with >50 m optical path length. Performance of the sensor was investigated with two measurement schemes: direct absorption (DAS) and wavelength modulation spectroscopy (WMS). With an integration time of less than 1.5 second, a detection limit of ~3 ppbv for H2CO measurement with precision of 1.25 ppbv for DAS and 0.58 ppbv for WMS, respectively, was achieved without zero air based background subtraction. An Allan-Werle variance analysis indicated that the precisions can be further improved to 0.26 ppbv @ 300s for DAS and 69 pptv @ 90 s for WMS, respectively. A side-by-side comparison between two measurement schemes is also discussed in detail.