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

By Angela Elia, Cinzia Di Franco, Vincenzo Spagnolo, Pietro Mario Lugarà and Gaetano Scamarcio


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 μm. 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

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Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
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