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Interband cascade laser absorption sensor for real-time monitoring of formaldehyde filtration by a nanofiber membrane

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Abstract

It is important to reduce the indoor formaldehyde (H2CO) level to improve indoor air quality. To investigate the H2CO filtration by a novel nanofiber membrane made from metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), we developed a laser absorption gas sensor for real-time H2CO monitoring using a room-temperature interband cascade laser (ICL) emitting at 3.6 µm. Wavelength modulation spectroscopy combined with a multipass gas cell (36 m path length) was implemented to achieve a detection sensitivity of 3 ppb H2CO at 1-s averaging time. We custom-designed a permeation H2CO generator that produces reference H2CO/N2 mixtures with an uncertainty of 6.4% in concentration. With the time-resolved continuous measurements, we observed a high filtration efficiency of 83% for the MOF filter, which, however, decreases linearly to 30% after operating for 3 h. Hence, the ICL-based gas sensor has proved to be a promising technique to assess novel nanomaterials for indoor air purification and pollutant control applications.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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