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

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0539079
Agency Tracking Number: 0539079
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-557
Small Business Information
710 Asp Avenue, Suite 500, Norman, OK, 73069
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Chad Roller
 (405) 307-8803
Business Contact
 G. Carl Gibson
Phone: (405) 307-8807
Research Institution
 William Marsh Rice University
 Frank K Tittel
 6100 Main Street
Houston, TX, 77005
 (713) 348-4833
 Nonprofit college or university
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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