Compact, Low Cost, High-Resolution Spectrometers
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
ABSTRACT: This Phase I STTR effort will demonstrate an ultra-compact, lightweight spectrometer with no moving parts for the mid-infrared wavelength region. The planar integrated device will feature bound electromagnetic waves, known as surface plasmon polaritons, in the mid-IR spectral region. This range is ideal for chemical identification based on the vibrational spectra known for most molecules. Currently available high resolution spectrometers are bulky, heavy instruments that typically require a stable foundation for operation, are expensive, are power hungry, and are not man-portable. The ability to detect chemical and biological species in the field is a necessity and a rugged, lightweight, compact spectrometer that is not subject to the restrictions of laboratory-only devices is long overdue. We propose a"spectrometer on a chip"consisting of an integrated source, detector, and interaction region. The proposed device will have the ability to operate under input from an optical fiber; however, a unique opportunity exists to grow the proposed structures directly on the output facet of a QCL in order to form an extremely compact integrated spectrometer and we will pursue this configuration in Phase II. BENEFIT: We anticipate the development of a compact, man-portable spectrometer for use from the near-IR to THz. The Phase I effort will result in a prototype device for the 3.4 micron range and answer the questions necessary for further development of the device for other wavelength ranges. The obvious applications to the military are chemical and biological sensing and conventional explosives detection. Our first product will be a spectrometer on a chip designed to detect biological and chemical species with a high degree of accuracy. The need for this technology also exists in the private sector. Security screening conducted by the TSA and private industry would benefit from our innovation.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
LRC Engineering Inc.
9345 Chandon Dr. Orlando, FL 32825-
Number of Employees:
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32816-