Abstract

The pulsed excitation of acoustic resonances was studied by means of a high-Q photoacoustic resonator with different types of microphone. The signal strength of the first radial mode was calculated by the basic theory as well as by a modeling program, which takes into account the acoustic impedances of the resonator, the acoustic filter system, and the influence of the microphone coupling on the photoacoustic cavity. When the calculated signal strength is used, the high-Q system can be calibrated for trace-gas analysis without a certified gas mixture. The theoretical results were compared with measurements and show good agreement for different microphone configurations. From the measured pressure signal (in pascals per joule), the absorption coefficient of ethylene was calculated; it agreed within 10% with literature values. In addition, a Helmholtz configuration with a highly sensitive 1-in. (2.54-cm) microphone was realized. Although the Q factor was reduced, the sensitivity could be increased by the Helmholtz resonator in the case of pulsed experiments. A maximum sensitivity of the coupled system of 341 mV/Pa was achieved.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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