Taking Gas Analysis to the Next Level

IRcell ((Source: IRsweep)

IRcell (Source: IRsweep)

It has been nearly six months since IRsweep announced the launch of the IRcell – a novl multipass cell for optical trace gas sensing. “Since then we are overwhelmed by the reaction to our product from the industry”, exclaimed the three co-founders Dr. Markus Geiser, Dr. Andreas Hugi and Dr. Markus Mangold.

“With the IRcell, we have introduced a new type of multipass cell consisting of only a single, circular mirror. In this cell, the body at the same time acts as the mirror reflecting the optical beam”, says IRsweep CEO Andreas Hugi. The advantage of such a configuration lies in its robustness towards mechanical stress such as vibrations or temperature changes. Furthermore, very compact setups are possible. “With our design, we offer an optical path of 4 m in a sample volume of only 30 ml”, he further adds.

Customer feedback confirmed that the need for a compact and robust multipass cell is ubiquitous. Furthermore, many industrial applications are in rough environments with mechanical shocks and large temperature changes. The uniqueness of the IRcell is based on two principal properties: its single piece construction and the two-dimensional, star-shaped beam pattern in the cell. Thanks to the two-dimensional beam pattern, the internal volume of the cell can be kept very low. Therefore, it can reach an optical path of several meters with a sample volume that is ten-fold smaller than in most competing gas cells, resulting in short gas exchange times. The single-piece construction makes the IRcell robust and invariant to temperature changes.

Optical path in a circular multipass cell (Source: IRsweep)

Optical path in a circular multipass cell (Source: IRsweep)

There is a range of manufacturers for multipass gas cells. Most cells target the very long path / high sensitivity market (> 30 m optical path). Those cells occupy a large footprint and contain a large gas volume as compared to the IRcell. “We aim at applications requiring an optical path length of 1 to 5 m. In such applications, we can provide significantly lower sample volumes as well as smaller dimension cells than currently available”, Hugi conludes.

Currently, IRsweep is the sole manufacturer and distributor for the IRcell. Founded in 2014, the company offers cutting edge optical sensing solutions based on semiconductor quantum cascade laser frequency combs in the mid-infrared spectral range. The company was awarded Venture Kick and the Volkswirtschaft-Stiftung Award in 2015.

Link: IRsweep GmbH, Zurich, Switzerland

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