Partnering opportunity

Chip-integrated optical sensor offered under license or research agreement


A label-free, integrated HCG-based platform technology for optical sensors which provides specific properties has been developed by a German university. The special geometry of the sensor allows the transformation of the whole or of only a part of a normal or of an oblique incidence wave into the in-plane direction. Application fields are environmental monitoring, homeland security, biomedicine, biochemistry or pharmacy. The university is interested in an R&D cooperation or a license agreement.

Partner sought

The university is looking for partners for a license or a research cooperation agreement. In the framework of a license agreement the partner's role would be the development of a ready to the market product. Partners could be SME or industry. In a research cooperation agreement the partner could be a SME or a university to further develop the technical aspects of the technology.


A Berlin-based German university active in the field of optics has developed a new idea (maturity level 1) of a label-free, integrated HCG-based optical sensor platform technology. (A high contrast optical grating (HCG) is a single layer near-wavelength grating physical structure where the grating material has a large contrast in index of refraction with its surroundings. A label or probe is a molecule that is attached chemically to aid in the labeling and detection of a biomolecule such as a protein, antibody, or amino acid.) The developed sensor technology provides very specific properties due to its special geometry, which allows the transformation of the whole or of only a part of a normal or of an oblique incidence wave into the in-plane direction. The main advantages of the sensor are its very high sensitivity and the possibility to use a cheap and available vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL). (No expensive “classic” optics are needed.) Sensors that are already on the market don’t provide this combination of properties. The sensor can be used to detect biomolecular, biochemical and chemical interactions. Possible fields of application are environmental monitoring, homeland security, biomedicine, biochemistry or pharmacy. The university is looking for partners to develop a ready to the market product. This could be done in the framework of a research cooperation agreement or a license agreement. A license agreement would authorize a partner to use the material and know-how for the further development which leads to the market introduction of the product. But the university is also open to a research cooperation agreement where skills are shared to further the development of the technical aspects with the aim to develop a product which is ready to the market.

Advantages and innovations

- Use of cheap and available VCSEL device possible - Monolithical integration of VCSEL as optical source possible - No expensive “classic” optics needed - Function given by the finite-size HCG only - Easy integrated detection due to the redirection of light - Very high sensitivity - Multiple detections possible, integrated in an array operating with identical VCSELs

Development stage

Under development/lab tested

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patents granted

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