A compact QCL based methane and nitrous oxide sensor for environmental and medical applications
A methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) sensor based on a sensitive, selective and well established technique of quartz enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS) was developed for environmental and biomedical measurements. A thermoelectrically cooled (TEC) distributed feedback quantum cascade laser (DFB-QCL), capable of continuous wave (CW) mode hop free emission in the 7.83 μm wavelength range, was used as an excitation source. For the targeted CH4 and N2O absorption lines located at 1275.04 cm−1 and 1275.49 cm−1 detection limits (1σ) of 13 ppbv and 6 ppbv were achieved with a 1 second data acquisition time, respectively. Environmental data of CH4 and N2O mixing ratios acquired using the QEPAS sensor system are also reported.