CEA-Leti has prototyped a next-generation optical chemical sensor using mid-infrared silicon photonics that can be integrated in smartphones and other portable devices. According to the company, mid-IR chemical sensors operate in the spectral range of 2.5 µm to 12 µm, and are considered the paradigm of innovative silicon-photonic devices. Measurement in this spectral range provides highly selective, sensitive and unequivocal identification of chemicals.
The coin-size, on-chip, IoT-ready sensors prototyped by Leti combine high performance and low power consumption and enable applications like air-quality monitoring in homes and vehicles, and wearable health and well-being applications. Industrial uses include real-time air-quality monitoring and a range of worker-safety applications.
CEA-Leti’s breakthrough combined three existing technologies necessary to produce on-chip optical chemical sensors:
- Integrating a mid-IR laser on silicon
- Developing photonic integrated circuits (PICs) in the mid-IR wavelength range, and
- Miniaturizing a photoacoustic detector on silicon chips.
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