Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Portable lab analysis - mini spectrometer integrated into your mobile phone

07.11.2013
Researchers at the Technische Universität Dresden and the Fraunhofer FEP are developing a novel type of an ultra-tiny spectrometer that fits into your mobile phone.

The novelty here are metallic nano-antennas for harvesting, filtering and amplifying of incoming photons. In addition, thin-film manufacturing technology makes this sensor affordable for mass production.


Spectrometers in a miniaturized size are required for many novel applications. For instance, approaching your smart-phone towards fruits and vegetables allows monitoring ripeness and freshness simply by quantifying the sugar content. Also a huge benefit for personalized medical care has been envisioned: people suffering e.g. from diabetes may track her/his blood sugar concentration through contact-free breath analysis. Furthermore, ultra-small spectrometers can be also relevant for security purposes, e.g. for toxic gas or liquid alarms.

Standard spectrometers so far are too bulky for the integration into compact electronic devices such as smart phones, simply because their physical principle reaches the uttermost size limits. Scientists at the Institute of Applied Photophysics (IAPP) at the »Technische Universität Dresden« and at the »Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP« Dresden, are ready to make an innovation leap within the »nanoSPECS« project, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF).

With an absolutely new concept based on nano-antennas, the researchers will develop a mini-spectrometer that possesses a very high resolution and sensitivity throughout the full spectrum (from UV to near-infrared). But the most striking fact is that the »nanoSPECS« mini-spectrometer needs no movable parts at all for full operation.

This »Dresden concept« is based on metallic nano-wires that act as tiny antennas for absorbing, amplifying and redirecting light to the detector, a CCD / CMOS chip that carries the antenna array. The sensing capabilities depend on the antennas length, diameter, material as well as the coupling distance between individual antennas, and hence can be tuned in order to reinforce specific wavelengths or wavelength ranges. The concept foresees to establish the antenna-arrays that show a gradient structure in one of the above-mentioned parameters covering the full electromagnetic spectrum with high amplification. The size of this novel spectrometer thus is solely limited by the size of a CCD / CMOS chip.

The IAPP has already developed a lab-scaled process to electrochemically grow such gold or silver nano-rod arrays into pores of an anodized aluminum-oxide matrix and has proven its variability and functionality. The main goal of the three-year »nanoSPECS« project, started in August 2013, is to manufacture and to up-scale such graded antenna-arrays to the 8”-wafer size. The challenge is to grow a precursor aluminum layer for anodization that shows a precise, reproducible and homogeneous thickness of expected micro-crystallinity. At this stage Fraunhofer FEP will apply its expertise in production of precision coatings through magnetron sputtering. This process ensures the high quality thin-film deposition needed for commercial production of mini-spectrometers for a large market.

Picture: What looks like a mini-carpet in the REM picture are gold nano-antennas of some 100 nm length and 30 nm diameter. These rods are sensitively absorbing visible light, filter photons, and finally concentrate and amplify selected wavelengths through plasmon resonances. These nanorod arrays form is the key element for modern-type optical sensors, as the stated goal within the »nanoSPECS« project.

»nanoSPECS« project is funded within the program »Validation of Innovation Potential of Science-VIP« of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Grant number: 03V0763

Press contact:
Annett Arnold
Fraunhofer-Institut für Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP | Phone +49 351 2586 452 | Annett.Arnold@fep.fraunhofer.de

Winterbergstraße 28 | 01277 Dresden | Gemany | www.fep.fraunhofer.de

Sophie Rost | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:
http://www.fep.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Camera technology in vehicles: Low-latency image data compression
22.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

nachricht Developing reliable quantum computers
22.02.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index started off well in 2018

22.02.2018 | Business and Finance

FAU researchers demonstrate that an oxygen sensor in the body reduces inflammation

22.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Histology in 3D: new staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>