Spectroscopic techniques for gas detection

Research areas

Optics and spectroscopies

Infrared Spectroscopy Laboratory has been established since 2005. Since then, the laboratory has been actively involved in R&D collaborations with 18 industry partners and 7 research institutes.

Raman spectroscopy for gas sensing


Raman spectroscopy has the advantage of detecting multiple species with a single device. Its application to gases is possible thanks to the availability of high power laser sources and highly efficient spectrometers and detectors. Several prototypes have been developed for the evaluation of fuel gas mixture composition (in the context of EU Attract Project PiPe4.0), combustion analysis and contamination detection in biological samples.








Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy for industrial inspection

Tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy is a technique for measuring the partial pressure of different species in a gaseous mixture.
TDLAS can also be used to resolve pressure, temperature, velocity and mass flux of the sample.
TDLAS sources are available from visible to IR range, making possible highly sensitive measurement of many gases, such as CO2, O2, H2O, CH4.
TDLAS is useful to make non-invasive measurement, because it does not need physical contact with the sample.

Pharmaceutical applications

Instruments for in line detection of oxygen and water vapor inside pharmaceutical vials were developed. This measurement is useful especially with the freeze-dried products in order to check closure tightness as well as drying process effectiveness.


Bottling industry

Both oxygen and carbon dioxide sensors were developed.
Carbon dioxide content and pressure measurement are needed in the sparkling wine industry, while oxygen concentration data is interesting for aging still wines;
Both are useful in the soft drink industry.
Systems for in line testing were manufactured, as well as stand-alone units for lab testing.



Glass industry

Energy-conserving glass panels are sealed with an Argon, Xenon or Krypton filling to improve thermal performances of the windows.
Sensing the residual oxygen content is useful to monitor the filling and sealing process. A prototype demonstration in an operation environment was successfully completed during a two-year R&D project, co-funded under the POR FESR call.


Food packaging industry

Different devices were designed to analyze modified atmosphere packages, in order to address many kinds of samples. Oxygen and carbon dioxide can be sensed. Several transmission and back-reflection mode instruments have been built, including an industrial installation in the context of the SAFETYPACK european project.





Studies on bacterial growth and photosynthesis

Evolution of CO2 levels is interesting for biology: studies on bacteria growth and evolution in different environmental conditions.

PACKSENSOR: joint Italian – Serbian project for fermentation studies.
A CO2 spectrometer was integrated in a fermentation incubator to perform measurements on contaminated samples of yogurt and other fermented dairy products.



Atmosfere in provetta: joint astronomy – biology project for studies on the evolution of photosynthetic bacteria in different atmospherical and illumination conditions.

A CO2 spectrometer and an O2 fluorescence quenching sensor were integrated in a thermally controlled cell provided with a programmable LED star light simulator.


People involved:

Lorenzo Cocola

Massimo Fedel

Luca Poletto


Research units: