Towards realization of quantitative atmospheric and industrial gas sensing using THz wave electronics
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The potential of THz wave electronics for miniaturized non-intrusive sensors for atmospheric, environmental, and industrial gases is explored. A THz wave spectrometer is developed using a radio-frequency multiplier source and a Schottky-diode detector. Spectral absorption measurements were made in a gas cell within a frequency range of 220–330 GHz at room temperature and subatmospheric pressures. Measurements are reported for pure acetonitrile (CH3CN), methanol (CH3OH), and ethanol (C2H5OH) vapors at 5 and 10 Torr and for methanol dilute in the air (0.75–3.0 mol%) at a pressure of 500 Torr. An absorbance noise floor of 10−3 was achieved for a single 10 s scan of the 220–330 GHz frequency domain. Measured absorption spectra for methanol/air agree well at collisional-broadened conditions with spectral simulations carried out using literature spectroscopic parameters. In contrast to the previous submillimeter wave research that has focused on spectral absorbance at extremely low pressures (mTorr), where transitions are in the Doppler limit, and the present study illustrates the applicability of THz electronics for gas sensing at pressures approaching those found in atmospheric and industrial environments.
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