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    The cost of sensors could be ended by the use of Photonic ICs

    The ICs, integrated on millimetre-size CMOS silicon chips, will “create extremely robust miniature systems, in which discrete components are replaced by on-chip equivalents”, said Leti. “This makes them easier to use and reduces their cost dramatically, expected at least by a factor of 10.”

    CMOS technology, provides low-cost mass manufacturing, as well as access to high-refractive index materials for nanophotonics. Many chemical and biological materials have identifiable absorption fingerprints at wavelengths between 2 and 20μm, allowing detection and measurement of concentration.

    “Despite the mid-infrared wavelength region’s importance for a wide range of applications, current state-of-the-art sensing systems in the mid-infra-red tend to be large and delicate,” said Leti instrumentation engineer Jean-Guillaume Coutard. “This significantly limits their spreading in real-world applications. By harnessing photonic integrated circuits, using hybrid and monolithic integration of III-V diode and inter-band cascade and quantum cascade materials with silicon, the consortium will create high-performance, cost-effective sensors for a number of industries.”

    Leti is coordinating the consortium, called Redfinch, and its other members are:

    • Cork Institute of Technology (Ireland) – Photonic IC design & fabrication, hybrid integration
    • Université de Montpellier (France) – Laser growth on Si, photodetector growth
    • Technische Universität Wien (Austria) – Liquid spectroscopy, assembly/test of sensors
    • mirSense (France) – MIR sensor products, laser module integration
    • Argotech (Czech Republic) Assembly/packaging of photonic ICs
    • Fraunhofer IPM (Germany) – Gas spectroscopy, instrument design/assembly
    • Endress+Hauser (Germany) Process gas analysis and expertise, testing validation

    Potential applications are:

    • Process gas analysis in refineries
    • Gas leak detection in petrochemical plants and pipelines
    • Protein analysis in liquids for the dairy industry

    The EU is providing funding.


    ELE Times Research Desk
    ELE Times Research Desk
    ELE Times provides a comprehensive global coverage of Electronics, Technology and the Market. In addition to providing in depth articles, ELE Times attracts the industry’s largest, qualified and highly engaged audiences, who appreciate our timely, relevant content and popular formats. ELE Times helps you build awareness, drive traffic, communicate your offerings to right audience, generate leads and sell your products better.

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