Project: Modular Trace Gas Analyzer consisting of a MEMs Grating Tuned Infrared laser Module for enhanced photo-acoustic spectroscopy.

The aim of this research and development project is to develop a novel modular trace gas analyser (MTGA) for Camlin limited that is capable of monitoring several gas species both simultaneously and rapidly. This modular system incorporates multiple laser modules that can be tailored to almost any region in the mid-infrared and therefore can be used for a wide range of gas species. Monitoring trace gases at low parts per billion concentrations is necessary in a wide number of industries including petrochemical, chemical, semi-conductor, gas supply, security, medical and environmental monitoring. The MTGA could therefore have a wide impact including security and the protection of public places, aid in the detection and reduction of pollution, provide a non-invasive diagnostic tool that works solely on exhaled breath and increase the efficiency of process control._x000D__x000D_The MTGA needs to be capable of rapid, highly selective and sensitive (<1 ppbv) detection. This will be achieved by combining three separate technologies; commercially available Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCL), micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMs) gratings from CSEM SA and Photo-Acoustic Spectroscopy (PAS) from Camlin. _x000D__x000D_PAS has the highest sensitivity of any IR absorption measurement technique. The sensitivity is limited by the intensity of the source, while the selectivity is limited by ability to distinguish between different gases spectrally. Camlin has identified the ideal source for PAS and this would be a rapidly tunable, compact, cost effective QCL system. An external cavity QCL using MEMS gratings potentially fulfils all these requirements. The goal of the project will be to design and build a MEMS tunable ECL module and to incorporate it with a PAS module. The resulting device will be a single gas analyser capable of detecting ultra low concentrations of ammonia. Camlin’s long term goal is to develop a device with several scanning laser modules capable of detecting multiple species simultaneously._x000D__x000D_The Ammonia detection test platform developed in this project will have direct application to environmental monitoring, refrigerant leak detection and breath analysis. Camlin’s end goal of a multiple species, modular detector will have even wider application with particular benefit when rapid and sensitive detection from an unknown background is required. This device would be ideal for explosive detection in a personnel portal or for breath analysis of multiple bio-markers._x000D_

Acronym MTGA (Reference Number: 7884)
Duration 15/04/2013 - 30/04/2015
Project Topic The development of a highly sensitive trace detection spectrometer based on multiple quantum cascade lasers (QCL) and photo-acoustic detection. Each QCL will be combined with a MEMS grating in an external cavity arrangement to allow for rapid tuning with excellent resolution.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 9

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology Partner Switzerland
2 Camlin Limited Coordinator United Kingdom