Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Photo-acoustic Effect with a Pulsed Laser: Detection of Water Contaminants

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

First discovered by Alexander Graham Bell, the photo-acoustic effect is the creation of a sound wave due to the absorption of modulated light by a sample. By measuring the sound of a sample at different wavelengths, a photo-acoustic spectrum can be recorded and used to identify the absorbing components in the sample. This method of analysis is being used to analyze and identify pollutants in solids, liquids, and gases. Due to its high sensitivity, this method has the potential to detect pollutants on the scale of parts per billion and it is ideal for environmental chemistry. We have performed measurement of absorption in liquids using a pulsed nitrogen laser and we detected the presence of dyes of organic origin in water. The theoretical background of the photo-acoustic effect will be introduced, followed by our data and by our future research plans, in which we will attempt detection of a known pollutant, benzene, in a water solution.

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Photo-acoustic Effect with a Pulsed Laser: Detection of Water Contaminants

First discovered by Alexander Graham Bell, the photo-acoustic effect is the creation of a sound wave due to the absorption of modulated light by a sample. By measuring the sound of a sample at different wavelengths, a photo-acoustic spectrum can be recorded and used to identify the absorbing components in the sample. This method of analysis is being used to analyze and identify pollutants in solids, liquids, and gases. Due to its high sensitivity, this method has the potential to detect pollutants on the scale of parts per billion and it is ideal for environmental chemistry. We have performed measurement of absorption in liquids using a pulsed nitrogen laser and we detected the presence of dyes of organic origin in water. The theoretical background of the photo-acoustic effect will be introduced, followed by our data and by our future research plans, in which we will attempt detection of a known pollutant, benzene, in a water solution.