Quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy exploiting tuning fork overtone modes
We report on a quartz-enhanced photoacoustic sensor (QEPAS) based on a custom-made quartz tuning fork (QTF) to operate in both the fundamental and the first overtone vibrational mode resonances. The QTF fundamental mode resonance falls at ∼3 kHz and the first overtone at ∼18 kHz. Electrical tests showed that the first overtone provides a higher quality factor and increased piezoelectric current peak values, with respect to the fundamental flexural mode. To evaluate the QTF acousto-electric energy conversion efficiency, we operated the QEPAS in the near-IR and selected water vapor as the target gas. The first overtone resonance provides a QEPAS signal-to-noise ratio ∼5 times greater with respect to that measured for the fundamental mode. These results open the way to employing QTF overtone vibrational modes for QEPAS based trace gas sensing.