Optical fiber tip-based quartz-enhanced photoacoustic sensor for trace gas detection


We reported the development of an evanescent-wave quartz-enhanced photoacoustic sensor (EW-QEPAS) using a single-mode optical fiber tip for sensitive gas detection in the extended near-infrared region. It is a spectroscopic technique based on the combination of quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy with fiber-optic evanescent-wave absorption to achieve low optical noise, easy optical alignment, and high compactness. Carbon monoxide (CO) detection at 2.3 μm using a fiber-coupled, continuous-wave, distributed-feedback laser was selected for the sensor demonstration. By tapering the optical fiber down to 2.5 μm diameter using the flame-brushing technique, an evanescent field of ~0.6 mW around the fiber tip was absorbed by CO molecules. Besides an excellent linear response (R 2 = 0.9996) to CO concentrations, the EW-QEPAS sensor achieved a normalized noise-equivalent absorption (NNEA) coefficient of 8.6 × 10−8 cm−1W/√Hz for an incident optical power of 1.8 mW and integration time of 1 s. The sensor detection sensitivity can be further improved by enhancing the evanescent-wave power on the fiber tip.

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This research is supported by the Early Career Scheme (ECS) grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong SAR, China (24208515); Shun Hing Institute of Advanced Engineering grant (RNE-p2-15); and CUHK Direct Grant for Research. We thank Prof. Wei Jin’s group from Hong Kong Polytechnic University for the use of their equipment.

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Correspondence to Wei Ren.

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Li, Z., Wang, Z., Wang, C. et al. Optical fiber tip-based quartz-enhanced photoacoustic sensor for trace gas detection. Appl. Phys. B 122, 147 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00340-016-6435-7

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  • HONO
  • Evanescent Field
  • Photoacoustic Signal
  • Quartz Tuning Fork
  • Incident Optical Power