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There is an increasing demand for sensitive, selective, fast and portable detectors for trace components in gases and liquids, e.g. due to increasing concerns about atmospheric pollutants, and a need for improved medical screening capabilities for early detection of diseases and drug abuse. In that context, the project IrSens aims at building a versatile platform based on optical spectroscopy in the near and midinfrared range. Indeed, techniques based on optical absorption offer the possibility to realize a non-invasive and highly sensitive detection platform. It allows to probe the vibrational frequencies of the targeted molecules - most of which are located in the near and mid-infrared range, and to obtain an unambiguous signature of the investigated gas or liquid.

The idea is to create a photonic sensor platform with high performance and reliability which will leverage on the new source, detector and interaction cell technologies to create a new sensor element with vastly improved performance and lowered cost. These improvements will be demonstrated further by the incorporation into two pilot applications, the first one aiming at the demonstration of sensing in the gas phase, the second one in the liquid phase.

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  1. 1. RTD Project IRSENSIntegrated sensing platform for gases andliquids in the near and mid-infrared range Y. Bonetti, J. Faist ETH Zurich Plenary meeting – Bern – May 12, 2011 IrSens
  2. 2. Project Synopsis: Needsgas fluid Medicine (Diagnosis, Monitoring) Sensing of small molecules (CO, Environment (Pollution, Modelling) CO2, NxOy, ...) Sensitive Portable, Selective Low Power Infrared Spectroscopy Semiconductor System IrSens
  3. 3. Approach: optical sensingLaser detector N O IrSens
  4. 4. holistic approach Gas QCL, QCD, Electronics VCSEL SiGe CMOSLiquid Yes/No % IrSens
  5. 5. Pilot/focus applicationsGas: CO2 isotope ratios, e.g for plantrespiration monitoring – environmentLiquid: Cocaine in saliva detection(presence yes/no) – traffic securityPlatform: develop tools and techniques Collaboration with industry started IrSens
  6. 6. Measurements in Gases IrSens
  7. 7. Schematic of the VCSEL gas-sensing demonstrator (TDLS) Collaboration with an industry in collaboration with IR Microsystems / Leister IrSens
  8. 8. Cylindrical Multipath Gas Cell 20*20*5 cm3 IrSens
  9. 9. BenchmarkingInstrumentation benchmarked with different techniques:- Direct Absorption (DA)- Wavelength Modulation (WM) - Prototype cell- PhotoAcoustics (PA) - wrong QC laser!Technique DA WM PA Picarro (CRDS (NanoTera) (NanoTera) (NanoTera) reference)1s precision (‰) 0.47 0.75 58.8 0.67best precision (‰) 0.06 (200s) 0.05 (3000s) 0.65 (8000s) 0.1 (300s) see poster! IrSens
  10. 10. Also software!!full hardware controldata acquisition and processing: - real-time fitting module based - on Hitran databasemeasurement automation IrSens
  11. 11. Measurements in Liquids IrSens
  12. 12. Benchmarking with ATR- Spectroscopybest spectralrange forCocaine in H2Oaround 1730/cm→ sources anddetector design IrSens
  13. 13. QCL 1721 cm-1 measurements● Strong increase in signal during drying, as expected● Limit of detection around 20 µg/ml see poster! IrSens
  14. 14. Microfluidic CellSource Detector Waveguide Inlets and Mixer Outlet IrSens
  15. 15. Transmission through waveguide at 6µm see poster! WaveguideQCLZnSe lens Detector total transmission through 9mm*5µm waveguide: 4 % IMT Institut de microtechnique IrSens
  16. 16. Microfluidic Sample Preparation for IR-Detection see poster!Problem µ-flu. requirements Answer low-cost materials and rapid prototyping ofdisposable chips fabrication process UV-glue transfer to IR-transparentmid-IR absorption of water liquid-liquid extraction solventIR-transp. organic solvents chemical compatibility of compatibility testsused for extraction chip to solventsaqueous and organic solvents handling of multiphase adjusting wettingon chip flows behavior of UV-glue materials with highabsorption of analytes absorption tests recovery rate improvement of liquid- droplet generation &fast sample preparation liquid extraction separation IMT Institut de microtechnique IrSens
  17. 17. Microfluidic Sample Preparation for IR-Detection fluid mixing parameters need good control IMT Institut de microtechnique IrSens
  18. 18. Support workpackages:Sources: Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (EPFL) Quantum Cascade Lasers (ETHZ)Detectors: Quantum Cascade detectors (UNINE) Ge/Si SPADs (EPFL) IrSens
  19. 19. Low dissipation, cw QC lasers2311cm-1 1730cm-1 1.2W see poster! IrSens
  20. 20. Detectors:Quantum cascade detectors, SiGe CMOS SPAD IrSens
  21. 21. Ge on Si diode test I-V datalow voltage data for diodes with Breakdown near -40Vsizes of 1x1, 1x20, and 40x40 (criterion of 1 µA)micrometergood material for a detector @ 1.55µm IrSens
  22. 22. Quantum cascade detectorDetectivity 5*108 jones (175K, 2300/cm) and 1.5*107 jones (250K, 1700/cm)Cold aperture, NTC, black inner side IrSens
  23. 23. Custom-made QCD preamplifier 1kHz 1MHz Footprint 4 x 4 cm2• Observed 58 dB of gain in 100mV/nA configuration• Roughly 25 times more gain than with commercial solution (PA-9-70 from Judson)• Almost identically low noise as commercial solution IrSens
  24. 24. Achievements Near-IR gas system (VCSEL): – Industrialization in progress ReadinessNovelty Mid-IR gas – Already reached state of the art Mid-IR liquid – Key building blocks are validated – New detectors & lasers IrSens
  25. 25. IrSens teamETH UNINEK.Hans, M. Sigrist D. HofstetterY. Bonetti, M. Beck, R. Terazzi, J. DiFrancescoEPFL FHNWSE. Kapon, A. Sirbu H. LooserE. Charbon, M.AminianA.Homsy, N. DeRooij, EMPAL. Hvozdara, Y-C.Chang, H.P Herzig B. Tuzson, A. Manninen, L. Emmenegger IrSens
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