, Volume 95, Issue 4, pp 813-824
Date: 02 Dec 2008

Performance evaluation of a near infrared QEPAS based ethylene sensor

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Abstract

A sensor based on quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS) was evaluated for the detection of trace levels of ethylene at atmospheric pressure using a fiber coupled DFB diode laser emitting in the 1.62 µm spectral range. A noise-equivalent QEPAS signal of ∼4 ppm C2H4 was achieved for a 0.7 s data acquisition time using wavelength-modulation with a second-harmonic detection scheme on the strongest C2H4 absorption peak at 6177.14 cm−1 with an average optical power of ∼15 mW. Improved detection sensitivity of 0.5 and 0.3 ppm C2H4 (1σ) was demonstrated using longer averaging time of 70 and 700 s, respectively. Important characteristics for the QEPAS based sensor operation in real-world conditions are presented, particularly the influence of external temperature variations. Furthermore, the response time of the ethylene sensor was measured in different configurations and it is shown that the QEPAS technique can provide a response time in a few seconds range even without active gas flow.