OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 36, Iss. 15 — May. 20, 1997
  • pp: 3188–3194

Applications of a compact photothermal-deflection-based setup for trace-gas detection in real-time in situ environmental monitoring and chemical analysis

Bob L. Zimering and A. Claude Boccara  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 36, Issue 15, pp. 3188-3194 (1997)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1273 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We present the application of a compact setup for real-time in situ trace-gas detection based on photothermal beam deflection (mirage-effect) spectroscopy to environmental monitoring and chemical analysis. The setup provides many advantages for local (nonremote) detection applications, such as rapid response and high sensitivity under true in situ conditions. The detection limit of C2H4 in open air is estimated to be 0.25 parts in 109, based on concentration calibration with the dominant noise that is due to atmospheric turbulence on a time scale of 1 s. Detection limits are extrapolated for other species, and applications are explored by real-time measurements of gas emissions from a variety of solid and semisolid samples.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: August 19, 1996
Revised Manuscript: November 18, 1996
Published: May 20, 1997

Bob L. Zimering and A. Claude Boccara, "Applications of a compact photothermal-deflection-based setup for trace-gas detection in real-time in situ environmental monitoring and chemical analysis," Appl. Opt. 36, 3188-3194 (1997)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. A. C. Tam, C. K. N. Patel, “High-resolution optoacoustic spectroscopy of rare-earth oxide powders,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 35, 843–845 (1979). [CrossRef]
  2. C. J. Bordé, “Comments on photoacoustic and photothermal spectroscopy of gases compared to optical methods,” J. Phys. 10, 593–601 (1983).
  3. P. L. Meyer, M. W. Sigrist, “Atmospheric pollution monitoring using CO2 laser photoacoustic spectroscopy and other techniques,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 61, 1779–1807 (1990). [CrossRef]
  4. H. Sauren, D. Bicanic, H. Jalink, J. Reuss, “High sensitivity interference free Stark tuned CO2 laser photoacoustic sensing of urban ammonia,” J. Appl. Phys. 66, 5085–5087 (1989). [CrossRef]
  5. M. W. Sigrist, “Laser photoacoustics for gas analysis and materials testing,” Opt. Eng. 34, 1917–1922 (1995). [CrossRef]
  6. F. Harren, J. Reuss, D. Bicanic, E. Woltering, “Ethylene exhalation of a single flower detected by photoacoustic methods,” in Photoacoustic and Photothermal Processes in Gases, P. Hess, ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1989), pp. 148–150.
  7. R. F. Adamowicz, K. P. Koo, “Characteristics of a photoacoustic air pollution detector at CO2 laser frequencies,” Appl. Opt. 18, 2938–2946 (1979). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. D. Fournier, A. C. Boccara, N. M. Amer, R. R. Gerlach, “Sensitive in situ trace-gas detection by photothermal deflection spectroscopy,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 37, 519–521 (1980). [CrossRef]
  9. G. R. Long, S. E. Bialkowski, “Saturation effects in gas-phase photothermal deflection spectrophotometry,” Anal. Chem. 57, 1079–1083 (1985). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. H. DeVries, F. J. M. Harren, G. P. Wyers, R. P. Otjes, J. Slanina, J. Reuss, “Non-intrusive, fast and sensitive ammonia detection by laser photothermal deflection,” Atmos. Environ. 29, 1069–1074 (1995). [CrossRef]
  11. E. Strauss, J. P. Favier, D. Bicanic, K. Van Asselt, M. Lubbers, “Sensitive colorimetric determination of ammonium ion in water by laser photothermal detection,” Analyst 116, 77–79 (1991). [CrossRef]
  12. B. Zimering, A. C. Boccara, “Compact design for real time in situ atmospheric trace gas detection based on mirage effect (photothermal deflection) spectroscopy,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 67, 1891–1895 (1996). [CrossRef]
  13. W. B. Jackson, N. M. Amer, A. C. Boccara, D. Fournier, “Photothermal detection spectroscopy and detection,” Appl. Opt. 20, 1333–1344 (1981). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. P. K. Kuo, E. D. Sendler, L. D. Favro, R. L. Thomas, “Mirage-effect measurement of thermal diffusivity. Part II: Theory,” Can. J. Phys. 64, 1168–1171 (1986). [CrossRef]
  15. A. Mayer, J. Comera, H. Charpentier, C. Jaussaud, “Absorption coefficients of various pollutant gases at CO2 laser wavelengths: application to the remote sensing of these pollutants,” Appl. Opt. 17, 391–393 (1978). [CrossRef]
  16. Interspecies interference, the error induced in the concentration measurement of one absorbing gas species in the presence of others, is discussed from a theoretical standpoint in Ref. 3. Our experimental findings indicate a 30% error compared with known concentrations associated with measurements of C2H4 in air containing H2O and CO2 based on absorption on a single line. When five lines or more are used for concentration determination, the error can improve to between 5% and 10%.
  17. M. S. Shumate, R. T. Menzies, J. S. Margolis, L.-G. Rosengren, “Water vapor absorption of CO2 laser radiation,” Appl. Opt. 15, 2480–2488 (1976). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. F. B. Abeles, P. W. Morgan, M. E. Saltveit, Ethylene in Plant Biology (Academic, San Diego, Calif., 1992).
  19. E. J. Woltering, D. Somhorst, P. van der Veer, “The role of ethylene in interorgan signaling during flower senescence,” Plant Physiol. 109, 1–7 (1995).
  20. T. Fink, “Photoacustische spektroskopie für die umweltanalytik,” Ph.D. dissertation (Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität, Bonn, Germany, 1994).
  21. G. Bults, B. A. Horwitz, S. Malkin, D. Cahen, “Photoacoustic measurements of photosynthetic activities in whole leaves photochemistry and gas exchange,” Biochim. Biophys. Acta 679, 452–465 (1982). [CrossRef]
  22. H. de Vries, “Local trace gas measurements by laser photothermal detection: physics meets physiology,” Ph.D. dissertation (Catholic University of Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 1994).
  23. Bioindicateurs Vegetaux et Qualité de l’Air, seminar organized by C. Elichegaray, Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maitrise de l’Energie A. Perrier, Institut Nationale de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris, France, 14 November 1995.
  24. “Photoacoustics in science: development of laser photoacoustics and related technology for monitoring ethylene production by plants suffering from environmental and pollution stress,” , organized by J. Reuss, Catholic University of Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 1December1995.
  25. R. Mani, R. P. Singh, S. Sivaram, “Ethylene-propylene copolymers: some aspects of thermal- and photo-degradation and stabilization,” Trends Polym. Sci. 1, 322–328 (1993).
  26. D. Bicanic, A. M. Solyom, G. Z. Angell, H. Wegh, M. Posthumus, H. Jalink, “The extent of unwanted infrared photoacoustic signals from polymer sampling tubings exposed to ultraviolet radiation,” Infrared Phys. Technol. 35, 637–644 (1994). [CrossRef]
  27. G. C. Pandey, B. P. Singh, A. K. Kulshreshtha, “Morphological characterization of autoclave and tubular LDPE by high temperature IR spectroscopy,” Polym. Test. 9, 341–351 (1990). [CrossRef]
  28. B. Zimering, G. C. Pandey, A. C. Boccara, “Gas phase mirage spectroscopy and applications: the advantages of a compact and sensitive setup,” in Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Photoacoustic and Photothermal Phenomena, S. Zhang, ed., Science in China Supplement (Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, 1997).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited