Abstract

What we believe to be a novel multipass, acoustically open photoacoustic detector designed for fast-response, high-sensitivity detection of trace gases and pollutants in the atmosphere is demonstrated. The acoustic pulses generated by the absorption of the light pulses of a tunable optical parametric oscillator by target molecules are detected by an ultrasonic sensor at 40 kHz. The photoacoustic signal is enhanced by an optical multipass arrangement and by concentration of the acoustic energy to the surface of the ultrasonic sensor. The detection sensitivity, estimated from CO2 measurements around a 2  μm wavelength, is 3.3×109  W  cm1.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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