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Development of a MEMS-Scale Photoacoustic Chemical Sensor Using a Quantum Cascade Laser

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3 Author(s)
Ellen L. Holthoff ; U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, MD, USA ; David A. Heaps ; Paul M. Pellegrino

The development of a microelectromechanical systems-scale photoacoustic chemical sensor is described. Specifically, both a pulsed and a modulated continuous wave quantum cascade laser were used to determine detection limits for dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), a standard nerve gas simulant. These sources were continuously tunable from 9.3 to 10 ¿m. We report a minimum detection level of 20 parts-per-billion (ppb) and exceptional agreement between the measured photoacoustic vibrational spectrum and the IR spectrum of DMMP. The results support the continued development of a miniaturized photoacoustic sensor.

Published in:

IEEE Sensors Journal  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 3 )