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Sensors 2009, 9(4), 2697-2705; doi:10.3390/s90402697
Article

Quantum Cascade Laser-Based Photoacoustic Sensor for Trace Detection of Formaldehyde Gas

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*  and
Dipartimento Interateneo di Fisica “M. Merlin”, Università and Politecnico of Bari, and Laboratorio Regionale CNR-INFM “LIT3”, Bari, I-70126, Italy
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2009 / Revised: 2 April 2009 / Accepted: 16 April 2009 / Published: 16 April 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Italy)
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Abstract

We report on the development of a photoacoustic sensor for the detection of formaldehyde (CH2O) using a thermoelectrically cooled distributed-feedback quantum cascade laser operating in pulsed mode at 5.6 mm. A resonant photoacoustic cell, equipped with four electret microphones, is excited in its first longitudinal mode at 1,380 Hz. The absorption line at 1,778.9 cm-1 is selected for CH2O detection. A detection limit of 150 parts per billion in volume in nitrogen is achieved using a 10 seconds time constant and 4 mW laser power. Measurements in ambient air will require water vapour filters.
Keywords: Formaldehyde; Quantum cascade laser; Photoacoustic spectroscopy; Trace gas sensor Formaldehyde; Quantum cascade laser; Photoacoustic spectroscopy; Trace gas sensor
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Elia, A.; Di Franco, C.; Spagnolo, V.; Lugarà, P.M.; Scamarcio, G. Quantum Cascade Laser-Based Photoacoustic Sensor for Trace Detection of Formaldehyde Gas. Sensors 2009, 9, 2697-2705.

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