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Optimization and complete characterization of a photoacoustic gas detector

Abstract

We report the complete designing process and realization of a photoacoustic spectrometer. In a first step, the cell design is optimized in order to achieve maximum cell constant and working frequency using a finite element method. Technological and integration constraints are used to define dimensional constraints on the cell. In a second step, a dedicated optical bench is presented along with the photoacoustic cell. The resonator response is then measured using a quantum cascade laser for methane detection and condenser microphones as detectors. The system detection limit is also discussed as it depends not only on the cell response but is also a combination of parameters linked together: environmental noise, microphones characteristics and cell conception. The gas flow required in a dynamic operation of the sensor degrades the detection limit regardless of the microphones quality. Choices on cell conception to minimize gas flow noise are discussed.

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Acknowledgments

This work was funded by the ANR ECOTECH Project #ANR-11-ECOT-004 called MIRIADE (2012-2014). Christophe Risser also acknowledges the Aerovia start-up (www.aerovia.fr) for his PhD funding by CIFRE contract.

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Correspondence to Virginie Zeninari.

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Risser, C., Parvitte, B., Vallon, R. et al. Optimization and complete characterization of a photoacoustic gas detector. Appl. Phys. B 118, 319–326 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00340-014-5988-6

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Keywords

  • Quantum Cascade Laser
  • Finite Element Method Simulation
  • Photoacoustic Cell
  • Helmholtz Resonance
  • Resonant Volume