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Sensors (Basel). 2017 Nov 3;17(11). pii: E2528. doi: 10.3390/s17112528.

A High Sensitivity Preamplifier for Quartz Tuning Forks in QEPAS (Quartz Enhanced PhotoAcoustic Spectroscopy) Applications.

Author information

1
Institute of Electronic Systems, Warsaw University of Technology, Nowowiejska 15/19, 00-665 Warsaw, Poland. tomasz@starecki.com.
2
Institute of Electronic Systems, Warsaw University of Technology, Nowowiejska 15/19, 00-665 Warsaw, Poland. dr.piotr.wieczorek@ieee.org.

Abstract

All the preamplifiers dedicated for Quartz Enhanced PhotoAcoustic Spectroscopy (QEPAS) applications that have so far been reported in the literature have been based on operational amplifiers working in transimpedance configurations. Taking into consideration that QEPAS sensors are based on quartz tuning forks, and that quartz has a relatively high voltage constant and relatively low charge constant, it seems that a transimpedance amplifier is not an optimal solution. This paper describes the design of a quartz QEPAS sensor preamplifier, implemented with voltage amplifier configuration. Discussion of an electrical model of the circuit and preliminary measurements are presented. Both theoretical analysis and experiments show that use of the voltage configuration allows for a substantial increase of the output signal in comparison to the transimpedance circuit with the same tuning fork working in identical conditions. Assuming that the sensitivity of the QEPAS technique depends directly on the properties of the preamplifier, use of the voltage amplifier configuration should result in an increase of QEPAS sensitivity by one to two orders of magnitude.

KEYWORDS:

QEPAS sensor preamplifier design; quartz enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy; quartz tuning fork; transimpedance amplifier

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