Gas modulation refractometry for high-precision assessment of pressure under nonerature-stabilized conditions

Isak Silander, Thomas Hausmaninger, Martin Zelan, Ove Axner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The authors report on the realization of a novel methodology for refractometry - GAs modulation refractometry (GAMOR) - that decreases the influence of drifts in Fabry Perot cavity refractometry. The instrumentation is based on a dual Fabry-Perot cavity refractometer in which the beat frequency between the light fields locked to two different cavities, one measurement and one reference cavity, is measured. The GAMOR methodology comprises a process in which the measurement cavity sequentially is filled and evacuated while the reference cavity is constantly evacuated. By performing beat frequency measurements both before and after the finite-pressure measurement, zero point references are periodically created. This opens up for high precision refractometry under nontemperature-stabilized conditions. A first version of an instrumentation based on the GAMOR methodology has been realized and its basic performance has been scrutinized. The refractometer consists of a Zerodur cavity-block and tunable narrow linewidth fiber lasers operating within the C34 communication channel (i.e., around 1.55 μm) at which there are a multitude of fiber coupled off-the-shelf optical, electro-optic, and acousto-optic components. The system is fully computer controlled, which implies it can perform unattended gas assessments over any foreseeable length of time. When applied to a system with no active temperature stabilization, the GAMOR methodology has demonstrated a 3 orders of magnitude improvement of the precision with respect to conventional static detection. When referenced to a dead weight pressure scale the instrumentation has demonstrated assessment of pressures in the kilo-Pascal range (4303 and 7226 Pa) limited by white noise with standard deviations in the 3.2 N - 1 / 2 - 3.5 N - 1 / 2 mPa range, where N is the number of measurement cycles (each being 100 s long). For short measurement times (up to around 103 s), the system exhibits a (1 σ) total relative precision of 0.7 (0.5) ppm for assessment of pressures in the 4 kPa region and 0.5 (0.4) ppm for pressures around 7 kPa, where the numbers in parentheses represent the part of the total noise that has been attributed to the refractometer. As long as the measurement procedure is performed over short time scales, the inherent properties of the GAMOR methodology allow for high precision assessments by the use of instrumentation that is not actively temperature stabilized or systems that are affected by outgassing or leaks. They also open up for a variety of applications within metrology; e.g., transfer of calibration and characterization of pressure gauges, including piston gauges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number03E105
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Dive into the research topics of 'Gas modulation refractometry for high-precision assessment of pressure under nonerature-stabilized conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this