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STTR Phase I: Low Cost Integrated IR Quartz Enhanced Photoacoustic Gas Sensor

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
710 Asp Avenue Suite 500 Norman, OK 73069 0491
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: STTR Phase I: Low Cost Integrated IR Quartz Enhanced Photoacoustic Gas Sensor
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0539079
Award Amount: $100,000.00


This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I project proposes the joint development of a compact/portable laser spectroscopic trace gas sensor based on quartz-enhanced photo-acoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS) recently demonstrated in the lab. QEPAS uses a low cost quartz tuning fork as the sensing element and provides immunity to environmental acoustic noise and enables the use of very small gas cells (< 1cm3), which facilitates the development of portable and sensitive trace gas point sensors. The objective of the Phase I project is to develop and test a prototype QEPAS sensor for sensitive measurement of atmospheric ammonia (NH3), a known precursor to the formation of particulate matter. The sensitivity enhanced QEPAS sensor will be tested in the lab and integrated into a compact optical system along with the electronics hardware that will undergo extensive characterization. The proposed project aims to address limitations to the commercialization of highly sensitive infrared trace gas sensors which are high costs, large sizes, and lack of portability. QEPAS is a modular technology and capable of measuring a number of important trace gas species, which enables marketing the instrument to a broader range of applications where no commercially available instrumentation exists. Potential markets to be considered include atmospheric and pollution monitoring, as well as medical diagnostic applications in breath analysis.

Principal Investigator:

Chad B. Roller

Business Contact:

G. Carl Gibson
Small Business Information at Submission:

710 Asp Avenue Suite 500 Norman, OK 73069

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
William Marsh Rice University
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005
Contact: Frank K. Tittel
Contact Phone: (713) 348-4833
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university