Quartz enhanced photoacoustic H2S gas sensor based on a fiber-amplifier source and a custom tuning fork with large prong spacing
A quartz enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS) sensor, employing an erbium-doped fiber amplified laser source and a custom quartz tuning fork (QTF) with its two prongs spaced ∼800 μm apart, is reported. The sensor employs an acoustic micro-resonator (AmR) which is assembled in an “on-beam” QEPAS configuration. Both length and vertical position of the AmR are optimized in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, significantly improving the QEPAS detection sensitivity by a factor of ∼40, compared to the case of a sensor using a bare custom QTF. The fiber-amplifier-enhanced QEPAS sensor is applied to H2S trace gas detection, reaching a sensitivity of ∼890 ppb at 1 s integration time, similar to those obtained with a power-enhanced QEPAS sensor equipped with a standard QTF, but with the advantages of easy optical alignment, simple installation, and long-term stability.