Cost effective multi-wavelength light sources are key enablers for wide-scale penetration of gas sensors at Mid-IR wavelength range. Utilizing novel Mid-IR Si-based photonic integrated circuits (PICs) filter and wide-band Mid-IR Super Luminescent Light Emitting Diodes (SLEDs), we show the concept of a light source that covers 2.5…3.5 μm wavelength range with a resolution of <1nm. The spectral bands are switchable and tunable and they can be modulated. The source allows for the fabrication of an affordable multi-band gas sensor with good selectivity and sensitivity. The unit price can be lowered in high volumes by utilizing tailored molded IR lens technology and automated packaging and assembling technologies. The status of the development of the key components of the light source are reported. The PIC is based on the use of micron-scale SOI technology, SLED is based on AlGaInAsSb materials and the lenses are tailored heavy metal oxide glasses fabricated by the use of hot-embossing. The packaging concept utilizing automated assembly tools is depicted. In safety and security applications, the Mid-IR wavelength range covered by the novel light source allows for detecting several harmful gas components with a single sensor. At the moment, affordable sources are not available. The market impact is expected to be disruptive, since the devices currently in the market are either complicated, expensive and heavy instruments, or the applied measurement principles are inadequate in terms of stability and selectivity.
Pentti Karioja, Teemu Alajoki, Matteo Cherchi, Jyrki Ollila, Mikko Harjanne, Noora Heinilehto, Soile Suomalainen, Jukka Viheriälä, Nouman Zia, Mircea Guina, Ryszard Buczyński, Rafał Kasztelanic, Ireneusz Kujawa, Tomi Salo, Sami Virtanen, Paweł Kluczyński, Håkon Sagberg, Marcin Ratajczyk, and Przemyslaw Kalinowski, "Multi-wavelength mid-IR light source for gas sensing," Proc. SPIE 10110, Photonic Instrumentation Engineering IV, 101100P (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 01, 2017; Published: 20 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2249126.
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