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Photoionization detector


PID lampA Photoionization detector (PID) uses an ultraviolet (UV) light source to ionize chemicals to positive and negative ions that can be easily counted with a detector. Ionization occurs when a molecule absorbs the light energy. The gas becomes electrically charged. These charged particles produce a current that is then amplified and displayed on the meter as "ppm" or even "ppb".


  • modern type (3D) is not affected by temperature and humidity changes
  • one detector can detect broad range of gases
  • high sensitivity (ppb's)
  • quick response (< 3 s)
  • high precision at very low levels


  • low selectivity for most compounds