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30 April 2009 Compact photo-acoustic chemical sensor
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The present security environment has created a need for robust, sensitive, portable gas-phase chemical sensors. The ready availability of high performance quantum cascade lasers, which can operate at ambient temperatures with only thermoelectric cooling, has made the possibility of such sensors quite realistic. A compact, sensitive, cost-effective photo-acoustic sensor capable of sub-part-per-million sensitivity is described. The sensor can be entirely selfcontained in a small volume weighing only a few pounds. The quantum cascade laser is enclosed in a sealed package incorporating a collimating lens and thermoelectric cooler. The package sits on an external thermoelectric cooler. Both the laser and thermoelectric coolers are driven by a self-contained power supply and controller specifically designed for the purpose. The photo-acoustic gas cell contains input and output ports and anti-reflection coated optical windows. Details of the sensor's configuration and performance will be described as it relates to explosive detection using thermal fragmentation.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David N. Wells "Compact photo-acoustic chemical sensor", Proc. SPIE 7312, Advanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies VI, 73120R (30 April 2009);

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