Trace aerosol detection and identification by dynamic photoacoustic spectroscopy
December 15, 2014
Dynamic photoacoustic spectroscopy (DPAS) is a high sensitivity technique for standoff detection of trace vapors. A field-portable DPAS system has potential as an early warning provider for gaseous-based chemical threats. For the first time, we utilize DPAS to successfully detect the presence of trace aerosols. Aerosol identification via long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) spectra is demonstrated. We estimate the sensitivity of our DPAS system to aerosols comprised of silica particles is comparable to that of SF6 gas based on a signal level per absorbance unit metric for the two materials. The implications of the measurements are discussed.