Applied Physics B

, Volume 85, Issue 2–3, pp 295–300 | Cite as

Impact of humidity on quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy based detection of HCN

  • A.A. KosterevEmail author
  • T.S. Mosely
  • F.K. Tittel


The architecture and operation of a trace hydrogen cyanide (HCN) gas sensor based on quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy and using a λ=1.53 μm telecommunication diode laser are described. The influence of humidity content in the analyzed gas on the sensor performance is investigated. A kinetic model describing the vibrational to translational (V–T) energy transfer following the laser excitation of a HCN molecule is developed. Based on this model and the experimental data, the V–T relaxation time of HCN was found to be (1.91±0.07)10-3 s Torr in collisions with N2 molecules and (2.1±0.2)10-6 s Torr in collisions with H2O molecules. The noise-equivalent concentration of HCN in air at normal indoor conditions was determined to be at the 155-ppbv level with a 1-s sensor time constant.


Tuning Fork Control Electronic Unit Photoacoustic Signal Hydrogen Cyanide Quartz Tuning Fork 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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