Real-time detection of hazardous materials in air

Israel Schechter*, Hartmut Schroeder, Karl L. Kompa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A new detection system has been developed for real-time analysis of organic compounds in ambient air. It is based on multiphoton ionization by an unfocused laser beam in a single parallel-plate device. Thus, the ionization volume can be relatively large. The amount of laser created ions is determined quantitatively from the induced total voltage drop between the biased plates (Q = ΔV·C). Mass information is obtained from computer analysis of the time-dependent signal. When a KrF laser (5 ev) is used, most of the organic compounds can be ionized in a two-photon process, but none of the standard components of atmospheric air are ionized by this process. Therefore, this instrument may be developed as a `sniffer' for organic materials. The method has been applied for benzene analysis in air. The detection limit is about 10 ppb. With a simple preconcentration technique the detection limit can be decreased to the sub-ppb range. Simple binary mixtures are also resolved.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsGeoffrey Harding, Richard C. Lanza, Lawrence J. Myers, Peter A. Young
PublisherPubl by Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)0819413658
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes
EventSubstance Detection Systems - Innsbruck, Austria
Duration: 3 Oct 19933 Oct 1993

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceSubstance Detection Systems
CityInnsbruck, Austria


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