Various applications, such as pollution monitoring, toxic-gas detection, noninvasive medical diagnostics and industrial process control, require sensitive and selectivedetection of gas traces with concentrations in the parts in 109
(ppb) and sub-ppb range.The recent development of quantum-cascade lasers (QCLs) has given a new aspect toinfrared laser-based trace gas sensors. In particular, single mode distributed feedback QCLsare attractive spectroscopic sources because of their excellent properties in terms of narrowlinewidth, average power and room temperature operation. In combination with these lasersources, photoacoustic spectroscopy offers the advantage of high sensitivity and selectivity,compact sensor platform, fast time-response and user friendly operation. This paper reportsrecent developments on quantum cascade laser-based photoacoustic spectroscopy for tracegas detection. In particular, different applications of a photoacoustic trace gas sensoremploying a longitudinal resonant cell with a detection limit on the order of hundred ppb ofozone and ammonia are discussed. We also report two QC laser-based photoacousticsensors for the detection of nitric oxide, for environmental pollution monitoring andmedical diagnostics, and hexamethyldisilazane, for applications in semiconductormanufacturing process.