Abstract

A mid-IR optical analyzer based on a 3 μm Fabry–Perot quantum cascade laser has been developed for ultrafast detection of aerosol propellants, such as propane and butane. Given the laser emission bandwidth of 35cm1, the system is spectrally well-matched to the C–H vibrational band of hydrocarbons, it is insusceptible to water interference, and stable enough to operate without wavelength scanning. Thus, it offers both high sensitivity and speed, reaching 1 ppm precision within a measurement time of 10 ms. The performance of the instrument is evaluated with an industrial demonstrator for aerosol cans leak testing, confirming that, in compliance with international directives, it can detect leaks of 1.2×104slpm at a rate of 500 cans per minute.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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