Abstract

Tunable diode laser absorption measurements of pressure and H2O concentration in the headspace of vials using a distributed-feedback (DFB) diode laser near 1.4 μm are reported. A H2O line located near 7161.41cm1 is selected based on its strong absorption strength and isolation from interference of neighboring transitions. Direct absorption spectra of H2O are obtained for the measurement path as well as the reference path by scanning the laser wavelength. The pressure and H2O vapor concentration in the headspace of a vial are inferred from a differential absorption signal, which is the difference between the measured and the referenced absorbance spectra. This sensor is calibration-free and no purge gas is needed. The demonstrated capability would enable measurements of pressure and H2O concentration in the headspace of vials within 2.21% and 2.86%, respectively. A precision of 1.02 Torr and 390 ppm is found for the pressure and H2O concentration, respectively. A set of measurements for commercial freeze-dried products are also performed to illustrate the usefulness of this sensor.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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