A device for detecting impurities in a noble gas includes a detection chamber and a source of pulsed ultraviolet light. The pulse of the ultraviolet light is transferred into the detection chamber and onto a photocathode, thereby emitting a cloud of free electrons into the noble gas within the detection chamber. The cloud of electrons is attracted to the opposite end of the detection chamber by a high positive voltage potential at that end and focused onto a sensing anode. If there are impurities in the noble gas, some or all of the electrons within the cloud will bond with the impurity molecules and not reach the sensing anode. Therefore, measuring a lower signal at the sensing anode indicates a higher level of impurities while sensing a higher signal indicates fewer impurities. Impurities in the range of one part per billion can be measured by this device.