Partnering opportunity

Hungarian research centre is looking for partners for developing miniature spectroscopy device based on a patented broadband near-infra LED technology

Summary

A Hungarian research centre with existing industrial technologies in the field of special semiconductor design and production is looking for a research partner in the field of miniaturized, battery operated, mobile spectroscope design and development. The applications of the miniaturized spectroscope can be developed in the fields like: blood glucose measurement, food safety, waste recycling, agricultural crop and soil analysis. Partners for research cooperation agreement are awaited.

Partner sought

- Type of partner sought: Industrial large enterprises, SME, Research Institutions - Specific area of activity of the partner: The requested partner should be active in the field of miniaturized, battery operated, mobile spectroscope design and development. The applications of the miniaturized spectroscope can be in any of the following fields where size, cost and battery life of the spectroscope has high value to the customers: blood glucose measurement, food safety, waste recycling, agricultural crop and soil analysis, counterfeit drugs, quality assurance, any industrial process control based on NIR spectroscopy. - Task to be performed: The possible solution should be integrated into at least one of the products listed above. Ideally, they have prototype of device in which the existing light source can be replaced by the developed broad-band NIR LED chip.

Description

The Hungarian research centre works in the field of semiconductor device design and production. There is a growing interest for low power consumption, affordable, miniaturized near-infrared (NIR) spectrometers which find applications in diverse areas like industrial process control, agriculture, food safety and medical diagnostics. Currently tungsten halogen lamp is used as a light source in visible and near-infrared spectroscopy. The incandescent light source has relatively high-power consumption and large size which pose limitations for the miniaturization of the optical components. Light emitting diodes are characterized by small dimensions, high radiance and low power consumption, therefore can be regarded as ideal components for compact, mobile spectrometers. Nevertheless, state-of-the-art GaInAsP (Gallium Indium Arsenide Phosphide) light emitting diodes operating in the 900-1700 nm wavelength range have narrow spectral bandwidth therefore an array of LEDs is needed to provide overlapping narrow-band spectra to cover the wavelength range of interest. In the research centre broad band light emitting heterostructures have been developed, which are capable to cover the 900-1700 nm near-infrared wavelength range. The layers were grown by low temperature liquid phase epitaxy. The broad spectrum of the semiconductor device is composed of two or more emission peaks of closely spaced GaInAs(P) layers separated by higher band gap layers. The primary emitted photons are partly absorbed by the successive GaInAs(P) layers. The energy of the absorbed photons is reemitted at longer wavelengths contributing to the broadening of the emission spectrum. As a result of this absorption and re-emission process the multilayer LED chips have substantially broader emission spectra and higher radiance than the conventional surface emitting multiwavelength NIR LED structures. The broad band NIR LEDs exhibit internal quantum efficiency as high as 0.6-0.9. The number and the position of the emission peaks can be tuned by controlling the composition and the dimension of the layer structure. The typical size of the LED chip is 500×500 μm2, and the optical power is in the range of 1 mW, enabling the development of compact and efficient optical systems. Recently several low-cost, miniaturized spectrometers have been developed enabling rapid non-destructive measurements requiring small sample size. In many applications the measurement equipment is interfaced with mobile communication enabling cloud computation and data analytics. Device size, weight and battery life is a key factor in mobile applications and these are the areas where broad-band near-infrared LEDs excel incandescent light sources. Matching advantages of the broad-band NIR LED with novel spectrometer design would be a winning combination in the market. The Hungarian research centre is open to submit a proposal under Horizon 2020 Programme Fast Track to Innovation call (EIC-FTI-2018-2020). The overall objective of the project is to develop an industrial solution for a specific problem from the following fields: blood glucose measurement, food safety testing, plastic recycling and any other spectroscopy in the NIR range using the broad band NIR LED technology. The requested research partner should come with the industrial problem to be solved. Ideally, they have prototype device in which the existing light source can be replaced by NIR LED chip to be optimized for the specific application.

Advantages and innovations

Current technologies are bulky, consume a lot of energy and may compromise the sample by transmitting heat. The patented NIR LED technology provides the widest infrared range suitable for spectroscopic devices either at discreet wavelengths or a full range of 900-1700 nm. This enables low energy consumption and small size equipment. The spectrometer can be portable and used in applications where heat transmission to the sample has to be minimized. The offered solution can be used in applications where immediate feedback is required from a production cycle.

Development stage

Prototype available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted


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