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Gases and Detection Limits

List of several gases and groups of molecules accessible with our detectors and the performed sensitivity.

Detection limit
Acetaldehyde CH3CHO 0.03 ppbv PTR-MS
Acetone C3H6O 0.03 ppbv PTR-MS
Acetonitrile CH3CN 0.03 ppbv PTR-MS
Ammonia NH3 0.1 ppbv CO2-laser / OPO
Benzene C6H6 0.06 ppbv PTR-MS
Dimethyl sulphide (CH3)2S 1 ppbv PTR-MS
Ethane C2H6 0.01 ppbv OPO
Ethanol CH3CH2OH 3 ppbv PTR-MS
Ethylene C2H4 0.006 ppbv CO2-laser
Isoprene C5H8 0.1 ppbv PTR-MS
Methane CH4 0.1 ppbv OPO
Methanol CH3OH 0.8 ppbv PTR-MS
Methyl Ethyl Ketone C4H8O 0.03 ppbv PTR-MS
Nitric oxide NO 1 ppbv QCL
Ozone 0.03 ppbv CO2-laser
Pentane C5H12 0.2 ppbv OPO
a-Pinene C10H16 0.8 ppbv PTR-MS
Sulfurhexafluoride SF6 0.003 ppbv CO2-laser
Toluene C7H8 0.6 ppbv PTR-MS
O-,M-Xylene C8H10 0.8 ppbv PTR-MS

The above table shows a selection of gases that we can measure with these systems. Especially using PTR-MS, more compounds can be measured such as alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, monoterpenes, esters and aromatic compounds.

Optical Parametric Oscillator: example of several strong molecular absorption bands in the 3-5 µm wavelength region

Molecular end-group or bond type
Spectral position (nm)
Molecular end-group or bond type
Spectral range (nm)
-S-H 3846-3922 CºCH 3000-3040
P-H 4167-4255 COOH 3330-4000
-N=C=O 4396-4444 O=CH3 3380-3420
-N3 4629-4717 CH2 or CH3 3390-3510
-N=C=N- 4640-4695 CHO 3450-3700
>C=C=O ~4650 O-CH3 3500-3560
R-S-CºN 4670-4600 POOH 3700-3900
-N=C=S 4673-5025 SH 3850-3920

PTR-MS : Proton-Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry

PTR-MS can detect various organic compounds such as aldehydes (e.g. acetaldehyde, propanal, formaldehyde), ketones (e.g. acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl vinyl ketone), aromatic compounds (e.g. benzene, toluene, xylene), alcohols (e.g. methanol, ethanol, propanol, iso propanol), sulphur compounds (e.g. methanethiol, dimethyl sulfide, dimethyl disulphide), unsaturated compounds (e.g. isoprene, alpha pinene), nitriles (e.g. acetonitrile), esters, acids and compounds with multiple functional groups (e.g. vanillin, methyl salicylate).

OPO : Optical Parameter Oscillator-based system

QCL : Quantum Cascade Laser-based system

CO2-laser : CO2-laser based system