The Chemical Measurement and Imaging Program in the Division of Chemistry and the Office of International Science and Engineering will support Professor Tittel and his coworkers at Rice University in this International Collaborative research program. The work will be conducted in collaboration with Professor Aurore Vicet of the University of Montpellier, France. NSF's French counterpart, Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) will support the research of Professor Vicet and his coworkers. The consortium will work to develop optical sensor systems based on the integration of novel mid-infrared lasers, (quantum well, quantum cascade, and interband cascade) operating in the 3-4 micron wavelength region, into a sensor platform based on quartz enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS) which is miniature and robust.
This integrated optical sensing platform promises significant improvements in sensitivity for detection of methane and other hydrocarbon greenhouse gases in environmentally important monitoring applications. The ability to sensitively detect atmospheric trace gases will impact understanding of atmospheric chemistry, and enable strategies for mitigation of pollution and global warming by greenhouse gas build up. The international collaboration facilitated by this project will provide the students involved with a valuable research experience and lead to a more globally aware scientific workforce.