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Image: Clayton Forssén

Development of optical measurement techniques to determine refractivity, density and pressure of gases

PhD project within the Industrial Doctoral School at Umeå University.

Clayton Forssén's project focuses on developing new optical measurement techniques to determine the refractivity, density and pressure of gases with an accuracy that exceeds existing instruments.

Project overview

Project period:

2018-06-01 2022-12-31


The PhD is financed by the external part RISE (50 percent) and the Industrial Doctoral School (50 percent). Continuos costs for the experimental activities are shared between RISE and Vetenskapsrådet (VR), EU (EMPIR projekt) och Kempestiftelserna.

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology

Research area

Physical sciences
  • Project members
    Ove Axner

    External project members

    The project involves partners at Umeå University (Dr. Isak Silander och Dr. Yin Guo) and other institute (Dr. Martin Zelan (RISE, Borås) and Dr. Thomas Hausmaninger (MIKOS, Helsinki).

Project description

Measurements with optical techniques have many application areas. The goal of this project is to develop an optical technique for measuring gas pressure and density. The technique is based on measuring the refractivity of the gas (or refractive index) using refractometry and on this basis determine pressure and density.

Existing instruments have difficulty measuring gas density and gas pressure with sufficiently high accuracy. In addition, they are often difficult to move, which limits their calibration possibilities and thereby their ability to measure pressure on different sites in our society. Therefore, there is a need to develop new sensitive and applicable techniques for this. The application area for such techniques are, for example, industry where one needs to measure pressure with high accuracy to, among other things, monitor flows and leaks in gas pipelines.

The research group I work in, which is led by Professor Ove Axner, has many years of experience in the development of laser-based measurement techniques for trace gas detection based on optical cavities and various forms of signal modulation. My research focuses mainly on combining different techniques and methods from this field to develop a new technique that can be used to measure gas refractivity. The research takes place in collaboration with RISE in Borås.

The research will also focus on exploring the possibilities, based on the new technique, to develop a new transportable primary standard for pressure. Thus, this would also contribute to the global standardization of SI units.

Latest update: 2020-08-11