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 Controlling robots with brainwaves and hand gestures
20.06.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL

nachricht Innovative autonomous system for identifying schools of fish
20.06.2018 | IMDEA Networks Institute

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth's mantle

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

What are the effects of coral reef marine protected areas?

21.06.2018 | Life Sciences

The Janus head of the South Asian monsoon

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>