Abstract

A photoacoustic trace-gas sensor for the measurement of nitric oxide with a detection limit of 500 parts in 109 has been demonstrated. The radiation source was a thermoelectrically cooled distributed-feedback quantum-cascade laser operating in pulsed mode near 5.3μm with an average laser power of 8mW. A resonant photoacoustic cell was excited in its first longitudinal mode by the modulated laser light. Preliminary measurements have been performed to test the performance of our photoacoustic sensor; possible improvements to reach lower detection limits are discussed.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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