Eindhoven researchers develop micro-spectrometer to fit ‘inside a smartphone’
21 Dec 2017
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (EUT) have developed a micro-spectrometer they say could fit “cheaply inside a smartphone”.
The spectrometer is designed to make precise measurements via a photonic crystal cavity - otherwise known as a 'trap' - that is just a few micrometres in size (see image above).
According to the researchers, the trap is contained in a membrane, into which the captured light generates a small, measurable electrical current.
The researchers said the device is as precise as a typical tabletop spectrometer.
However, EUT’s professor Andrea Fiore said it would take at least five years before the new spectrometer could be incorporated into a smartphone “because the frequency range covered is still too small”.
Currently, the sensor covers just a few percent of the most common spectrum, the near-infrared. Therefore, Fiore’s team will now work on extending the detectable spectrum.
The researchers will also be integrating an extra element with the micro-spectrometer: a light source, which they say will make the sensor independent of external sources.
A full account of the research has been published in the journal Nature Communications.
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