Compact GC-QEPAS for On-Site Analysis of Chemical Threats
Nicola Liberatore , Roberto Viola,Sandro Mengali, Luca Masini, Federico Zardi, Ivan Elmi, Stefano Zampolli
This paper reports on a compact, portable, and selective chemical sensor for hazardous vapors at trace levels, which is under development and validation within the EU project H2020 “RISEN”. Starting from the prototype developed for a previous EU project, here, we implemented an updated two-stage purge and trap vapor pre-concentration system, a more compact MEMS- based fast gas-chromatographic separation module (Compact-GC), a new miniaturized quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS) detector, and a new compact laser source. The system provides two-dimensional selectivity combining GC retention time and QEPAS spectral information and was specifically designed to be rugged, portable, suitable for on-site analysis of a crime scene, with accurate response in few minutes and in the presence of strong chemical background. The main upgrades of the sensor components and functional modules will be presented in detail, and test results with VOCs, simulants of hazardous chemical agents, and drug precursors will be reported and discussed.
Liberatore, N.; Viola, R.; Mengali, S.; Masini, L.; Zardi, F.; Elmi, I.; Zampolli, S. Compact GC-QEPAS for On-Site Analysis of Chemical Threats. Sensors 2023, 23, 270. https://doi.org/10.3390/s23010270