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Sensors 2018, 18(3), 723;

Ppbv-Level Ethane Detection Using Quartz-Enhanced Photoacoustic Spectroscopy with a Continuous-Wave, Room Temperature Interband Cascade Laser

College of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun 130022, China
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005, USA
State Key Laboratory of Quantum Optics and Quantum Optics Devices, Institute of Laser Spectroscopy, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, China
National Engineering Research Center of Geophysics Exploration Instruments, College of Instrumentation & Electrical Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun 130061, China
State Key Laboratory on Integrated Optoelectronics, College of Electronic Science and Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spectroscopy Based Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3352 KB, uploaded 28 February 2018]   |  


A ppbv-level quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS)-based ethane (C2H6) sensor was demonstrated by using a 3.3 μm continuous-wave (CW), distributed feedback (DFB) interband cascade laser (ICL). The ICL was employed for targeting a strong C2H6 absorption line located at 2996.88 cm−1 in its fundamental absorption band. Wavelength modulation spectroscopy (WMS) combined with the second harmonic (2f) detection technique was utilized to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and simplify data acquisition and processing. Gas pressure and laser frequency modulation depth were optimized to be 100 Torr and 0.106 cm−1, respectively, for maximizing the 2f signal amplitude. Performance of the QEPAS sensor was evaluated using specially prepared C2H6 samples. A detection limit of 11 parts per billion in volume (ppbv) was obtained with a 1-s integration time based on an Allan-Werle variance analysis, and the detection precision can be further improved to ~1.5 ppbv by increasing the integration time up to 230 s. View Full-Text
Keywords: laser sensors; infrared spectroscopy; semiconductor quantum cascade lasers laser sensors; infrared spectroscopy; semiconductor quantum cascade lasers

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Li, C.; Dong, L.; Zheng, C.; Lin, J.; Wang, Y.; Tittel, F.K. Ppbv-Level Ethane Detection Using Quartz-Enhanced Photoacoustic Spectroscopy with a Continuous-Wave, Room Temperature Interband Cascade Laser. Sensors 2018, 18, 723.

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