Photoacoustic spectroscopy for gas sensing: A comparison between piezoelectric and interferometric readout in custom quartz tuning forks

Stefano Dello Russo, Sheng Zhou, Andrea Zifarelli, Pietro Patimisco, Angelo Sampaolo, Marilena Giglio, Davide Iannuzzi, Vincenzo Spagnolo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


We report on a comparison between piezoelectric and interferometric readouts of vibrations in quartz tuning forks (QTFs) when acting as sound wave transducers in a quartz-enhanced photoacoustic setup (QEPAS) for trace gas detection. A theoretical model relating the prong vibration amplitude with the QTF prong sizes and electrical resistance is proposed. To compare interferometric and piezoelectric readouts, two QTFs have been selected; a tuning fork with rectangular-shape of the prongs, having a resonance frequency of 3.4 kHz and a quality-factor of 4,000, and a QTF with prong having a T-shape characterized by a resonance frequency of 12.4 kHz with a quality-factor of 15,000. Comparison between the interferometric and piezoelectric readouts were performed by using both QTFs in a QEPAS sensor setup for water vapor detection. We demonstrated that the QTF geometry can be properly designed to enhance the signal from a specific readout mode.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100155
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Early online date8 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020



  • Gas sensing
  • Interferometry
  • Photoacoustic spectroscopy
  • Piezoelectricity
  • Tuning fork

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