Resonant Photoacoustic Spectroscopy of NO₂ with a UV-LED Based Sensor

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Feb 11;19(3):724. doi: 10.3390/s19030724.


Nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) is a poisonous trace gas that requires monitoring in urban areas. Accurate measurement in sub-ppm concentrations represents a wide application field for suitable economical sensors. We present a novel approach to measure NO 2 with a photoacoustic sensor using a T-shaped resonance cell. An inexpensive UV-LED with a peak wavelength of 405 nm as radiation source as well as a commercial MEMS microphone for acoustic detection were used. In this work, a cell has been developed that enables a "non-contact" feedthrough of the divergent LED beam. Thus, unwanted background noise due to absorption on the inside walls is minimized. As part of the development, an acoustic simulation has been carried out to find the resonance frequencies and to visualize the resulting standing wave patterns in various geometries. The pressure amplitude was calculated for different shapes and sizes. A model iteratively optimized in this way forms the basis of a construction that was built for gas measurement by rapid prototyping methods. The real resonance frequencies were compared to the ones found in simulation. The limit of detection was determined in a nitrogen dioxide measurement to be 200 ppb (6 σ ) for a cell made of aluminum.

Keywords: LED; T-cell; nitrogen dioxide (NO2) detection; resonant photoacoustic spectroscopy.