Picarro Inc. has introduced the world’s most sensitive real-time gas analyser for trace hydrogen fluoride (HF) detection, capable of measuring down to 10 parts per trillion (lower detection limit) in ambient air, the company announced recently.

In addition to its unprecedented sensitivity, the new analyser operates with no requirement for frequent calibration and with complete immunity to cross-talk from any other ambient gas component, including varying moisture levels. Moreover, this simple to use unit can be operated remotely with sampling rates as fast 1 Hz, producing drift-free data with up to four digits of precision. The high dynamic range of the product means it can deliver a linear response for HF concentrations as high as parts per million, with an absolute accuracy of better than 1%.

Michael Woelk, President and CEO of Picarro, commented, “Hydrogen fluoride is an exceptionally dangerous gas and is notoriously difficult to measure reliably. Our HF analyser is another terrific example of the power of our technology to provide simple turn-key solutions.”

This new HF analyser is based on Picarro’s unique Wavelength-Scanned Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy technology (WS-CRDS), measuring near infrared absorption in a flow cell using an internal laser beam, over an effective path length of up to 21km.

The new Picarro HF analyser is ideal for use in semiconductor fabrication facilities and clean-room applications where ambient air must be rigorously monitored, and will also find applications in other industries where HF may be present - such as aluminium smelting and glass/glassware production.