Partnering opportunity

Fast response Terahertz and far-infrared sensor for the inspection of complex coumpound or structure using spectroscopy or imaging

Summary

A Micro Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) has been developed for the non-invasive inspection of complex compounds, composites or living tissues. This MEMS is the sensitive part for Terahertz (THz) and far-infrared (FIR) wave detection, leading to an increased sensitivity and faster response in a drastically smaller device. A French company sourcing scientific findings looks for companies operating in THz or FIR spectroscopy or imaging for licensing agreement or technical cooperation agreement.

Partner sought

The French TTO is looking for a licensing agreement or a technical cooperation agreement with companies operating in the manufacturing of spectroscopy or imaging equipment using far-infrared and THz signal. They could be : - companies operating in scientific instrumentation, with available facilities to develop a miniaturized device, or - sub-contractor companies operating in the manufacturing of measurement systems using spectroscopy or imaging, or - corporates already operating in the field of infrared spectroscopy or imaging, interested by the potential of THz spectroscopy or imaging.

Description

A French Technology Transfer Office (TTO) offers a cutting-edge Micro Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) technology to be used as the sensitive part for the Térahertz (THz) and far-infrared spectroscopy or imaging . It has been developed in a research lab dealing with quantum physics in the Paris region. * Challenged markets : On one hand, infrared and far-infrared imaging are commonly used as a Non-Destructive Control (NDC) method for default detection in manufactured products at different scale levels. It can be unidimensional when applied to a scrolling system inspection. It can also be bidimensional and applied to composite materials or welded or stuck metal joints. On the other hand, the main interest of THz waves is their ability to cut through any lifeless or living material with no heating nor destructive effect. As a consequence, THz imaging is an emerging market with various application fields which need control or detection of molecules with a complex signature. By using several monochromatic sensors,THz spectroscopy could be used as a safety inspection device of suspicious equipment such as explosives or narcotics, or as a non-invasive diagnosis device applied to inflammation or cancer. *State of the art : Usual Infrared and THz sensors are either bolometer or Golay cell detectors. Bolometers convert temperature change into electrical resistance change, and can only work at very low temperatures (<4°K) in order to detect photons and filter the thermal noise. Golay cells use the light reflection from a thermally distortable film onto a photoelectric cell, with a very low sampling rate (<20Hz). Both design principles leads to bulky detectors (about 10cm3)which are currently used for Gigahertz (GHz) spectroscopy (up to 800 GHz). *Developped technology : A specific monochromatic resonator has been developped and patented. Far-infrared or THz photons collected by the resonator induce high-rate electric current. This results in a mechanical motion which can be optically translated into Infrared or THz wave energy measurement. Such a design principle leads to an innovative detector whith a working range raised up to 10 THz (working range of current prototypes is 2,5 THz). As compared to bolometer and Golay cell detectors, the innovative THz and far-infrared sensor can operate in ambiant temperature with a high sampling rate. Besides, the patented design of the sensitive part allows the development of a miniaturized device. Since the main market challenge is the availability of a THz spectroscopy device, the French TTO is looking for companies interested in the miniaturization and development of a such a device using the THz sensor proposed technology. The French TTO is looking for a licensing agreement or a technical cooperation agreement with companies operating in the manufacturing of spectroscopy or imaging equipment using far-infrared and THz signal.

Advantages and innovations

The proposed THz sensor technology as been developed as a monochromatic sensor including a patented sensitive part, with the below-mentioned advantages. Its main potential is that it can be transfered for industrial use as a miniaturized device for spectroscopy, either for optimized NDC of manufactured complex materials and structures, or even for emerging appliances such as complex products (explosives, narcotics) or biological defects (inflammation, tumors). * Advantages : - working range up to 10 THz , as compared to 800 Ghz for current sensors - operating in ambiant temperature (no need for cooling as for bolometers) - very high sampling rate (>10MHz), as compared to Golay cells - small-sized (<1mm3).

Development stage

Prototype available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted


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