Air pollution is used to refer to the release of pollutants into the air, where these pollutants are harmful to the human health and our planet. The main source of these pollutants comes from energy production and consumption that release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as BTEX and Aldehydes group. Real time monitoring of these VOCs in factories, stations, homes and in the street is important for analysis of the pollution sources fingerprint and for alerting, when exceeding the harmful limits. In this work we report the use of a MEMS FTIR spectrometer in the mid-infrared for this purpose. The spectrometer works in the wavelength range of 1.6 μm - 4.9 μm with a resolution down to 33 cm<sup>-1</sup>. This covers the absorption spectrum of water vapour, BTEX, Aldehydes and CO<sub>2</sub> around 2.65 μm, 3.27 μm, 3.6 μm and 4.3 μm, respectively. The spectra of Toluene with different concentrations are measured, using a multipass gas cell with a physical length of 50 cm and an optical path length of 20 m, showing excellent sensor linearity. The minimum concentration measured is 350 ppb limited by the interference of the side lobes of the strong absorption of water vapour, which can be overcome in the future by humidity compensation. The SNR is measured and found to be 5000:1, corresponding to a detection limit of about 90 ppb. The achieved results open the door for a compact and low-cost solution targeting air pollution monitoring.
Infrared portable spectral sensors are greatly required for rapid and simultaneous analysis of material composition; triggering new applications in the domain of on-site spectroscopy. At the same time, miniaturization of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers based on the silicon technology has been proven to be one of the most promising approaches for wide spectral range applications. In this work, we present a fiber-free MEMS FTIR spectrometer working in the wavelength range of 1.8 μm to 6.8 μm (5500-1470 cm<sup>-1</sup>). The spectrometer is based on the use of a monolithically integrated scanning Michelson interferometer, assembled with external reflecting micro-optical part, which is responsible for light coupling to and from the MEMS chip. The measured signal-to-noise ratio of the spectrometer is larger than 5000:1 with a spectral resolution of 66 cm<sup>-1</sup>. The experimental results of measuring the transmission of a polystyrene reference calibration film show four absorption peaks in the Mid Infra-Red (MIR) range at 3.27, 3.5, 5.15, 6.24 μm in close agreement with theoretical predictions.
In this work we report the modelling of the emissivity of micromachined black silicon structure based on treating the black silicon as an array of cone-shaped textured silicon structure. The geometrical ray optics is used to calculate the reflection and transmission coefficient for each ray hitting the silicon surface with a certain incidence angle. The coherence length is assumed to be much smaller than the travelled distance by the rays such that their contribution is summed incoherently. The validity of the geometrical optics holds since the modeled structure dimensions are much larger than the wavelength. The model is applied on experimental data reported in the literature for black silicon structure fabricated using femtosecond laser pulses. The height of the structure is in the order of 20 μm, the cone angle is about 20 degrees and silicon doping level is about 10<sup>19</sup> cm<sup>-3</sup>. The model results are compared to the measured emissivity in the wavelength range of 500 nm to 2000 nm good matching within 0.5 % to 5 % is obtained for smaller to longer wavelengths, respectively.
Portable and handheld spectrometers are being developed and commercialized in the late few years leveraging the rapidly-progressing technology and triggering new markets in the field of on-site spectroscopic analysis. Although handheld devices were commercialized for the near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), their size and cost stand as an obstacle against the deployment of the spectrometer as spectral sensing components needed for the smart phone industry and the IoT applications. In this work we report a chip-sized microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based FTIR spectrometer. The core optical engine of the solution is built using a passive-alignment integration technique for a selfaligned MEMS chip; self-aligned microoptics and a single detector in a tiny package sized about 1 cm<sup>3</sup>. The MEMS chip is a monolithic, high-throughput scanning Michelson interferometer fabricated using deep reactive ion etching technology of silicon-on-insulator substrate. The micro-optical part is used for conditioning the input/output light to/from the MEMS and for further light direction to the detector. Thanks to the all-reflective design of the conditioning microoptics, the performance is free of chromatic aberration. Complemented by the excellent transmission properties of the silicon in the infrared region, the integrated solution allows very wide spectral range of operation. The reported sensor’s spectral resolution is about 33 cm<sup>-1</sup> and working in the range of 1270 nm to 2700 nm; upper limited by the extended InGaAs detector. The presented solution provides a low cost, low power, tiny size, wide wavelength range NIR spectral sensor that can be manufactured with extremely high volumes. All these features promise the compatibility of this technology with the forthcoming demand of smart portable and IoT devices.
Micromachined infrared sources are enabling component for interferometric and spectroscopic sensors. Their compact size and low cost transform bulky instruments to the sensor scale, which is needed for a wide range of applications in the conventional and unconventional environments. The silicon micromachined sources should be engineered to have good emissivity across a large wavelength range because the intrinsic emissivity of silicon is low. This optimization was reported in literature by either the deposition of black metal at the surface of an emitter or the use of deep phonic crystal cavities, which complicates the fabrication technology and results in sharp dip lines in the spectral emissivity, respectively. In this work we report a micromachined infrared radiation source based on a heater on the top of black silicon structure for the first time in the literature, up to the authors’ knowledge. The temperature of the device is characterized versus the applied voltage and the radiated spectrum is captured in the 1300 nm to 2500 nm spectral range; limited by the spectrum analysis instrument. The reported source opens the doors for completely integrated MEMS spectral sensors onchip.