STTR Phase II: High Resolution Spectrometer-on-a-Chip Based on Nano-Optic Plasmonic Device

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Solitcitation Year:
Solicitation Number:
NSF 06-553
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Small Business Information
NanoLambda, Inc.
510 William Pitt Way, Pittsburgh, PA, 15238
Hubzone Owned:
Woman Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Principal Investigator
 Byounghee Lee
 (412) 828-6266
Business Contact
 Byounghee Lee
Title: PhD
Phone: (412) 828-6266
Research Institution
 University of Pittsburgh
 Hong Kim
 350 Thackeray Hall
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
 (412) 624-9673
 Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project is to develop an ultra-compact, high-resolution and low-cost spectrometer-on-a-chip, based on plasmonic nanowire arrays. In response to the growing demands for miniaturized non-invasive spectroscopic sensor, there have been many efforts to miniaturize optical spectrometers using various conventional technologies. However they are not yet conducive to both dramatic miniaturization and also high spectral performance at low production cost. Unlike the bulky and expensive conventional diffractive optical devices, the proposed nano-optic device utilizes the wavelength-dependent plasmonic phenomena occurring on metal nanowire surfaces and the gaps between the metal nanowires. This single layered nano-optic filter array is expected to enable a high resolution spectrometer-on-a-chip, overcoming the limits of diffractive optics. This proposal is to design, and fabricate the nano-optic filter array structure using standard wafer processes, to integrate it with a custom designed CMOS detector array to form a spectrometer-on-a-chip. The anticipated outcome of this project are spectrometer-on-a-chip samples for customer test and evaluation, and demonstration of high spectral resolution (10nm) over 380nm ~780nm wavelength range in a compact size, less than 5 mm x 5 mm x 2 mm, at significantly lower cost. If successful the proposed ultra-compact high-resolution low-cost spectrometer-on-a-chip can be used in various applications such as high-resolution color sensing, multiple gas detection, and mobile/wearable health monitoring. Consumer electronics manufacturers, portable medical device vendors, and wireless sensor node suppliers can be all potential customers. As a key component to these markets, it is anticipated that the total addressable market for the proposed spectrometer-on-a-chip will be over $1 billion in around 2012. Considering the manufacturability of the proposed technology and the readiness of the markets, it is feasible to launch the first commercial product in 2010. The proposed activities will contribute to enhancing color quality and color consistency across consumer color devices, and has potential to contribute to advancing personalized point-of-care, environmental monitoring, and homeland security by enabling non-invasive, high-throughput, low-cost sensing. The proposed activities will provide further solid understanding of the phenomena occurring when a light interacts with nanostructured metal, and enhance the mass production capabilities of nano-structures. Successful completion of this project will also open up new application opportunities in the convergence areas of information, bio and nanotechnologies.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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