Small Single Chip, Inexpensive, Mid Infra-Red (IR) Sensor

Technology #16589

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Inventors
Professor Lionel Kimerling
Department of Materials Science And Engineering, MIT
External Link (photonics.mit.edu)
Jianwei Mu
Department of Materials Science And Engineering, MIT
Zhaohong Han
Department of Materials Science And Engineering, MIT
Anuradha Agarwal
Department of Materials Science And Engineering, MIT
Pao Tai Lin
Department of Materials Science And Engineering, MIT
Managed By
Jim Freedman
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Chemicals, Instruments, Consumer Products
Patent Protection

Methods and apparatus for infrared and mid-infrared sensing

PCT Patent Application WO 2016-123088

Methods and apparatus for infrared and mid-infrared sensing

US Patent Pending

Applications

Material analysis and identification for:

  • spectroscopy,
  • chemical and bio-molecular sensing,
  • materials processing,
  • homeland security, and
  • food and petrochemical industry.

Problem Addressed

Fast and accurate detection of many chemical and biological substances has many applications and is a large and growing market. Mid IR sensors have shown promise in this field. However, detection of each specific material requires specific light source and detector. Therefore, fabrication of a single chip with multi-material detection capability becomes challenging as the light sources and detectors are bulky and expensive.

Technology

This technology enables fabrication of a mid-IR sensing chip with a single light source and a single detector that can sense a variety of materials. In this architecture, light path from the source to the detector is guided through different channels, each individually capable of detecting a specific material. Optical switches made of germanium antimony telluride (GST) control the light path. The optical switches are activated by electrical signals that change optical property of the GST. The whole arrangement can be implemented on a single monolithic device, enabling the construction of a single chip, multi-material detection system.

Advantages

  • Small footprint
  • Energy-efficient
  • Inexpensive
  • Scalable
  • Integration with associated electronics
  • Suitable for remote sensing