There is a growing interest for low power consumption, affordable, miniaturized near-infrared (NIR) spectrometers. Currently tungsten halogen lamps are used as a light source in NIR spectroscopy, which have relatively high-power consumption and large size limiting the miniaturization of the optical components. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are characterized by small dimensions, high radiance and low power consumption, therefore can be regarded as ideal components for compact, mobile spectrometers. State-of-the-art infrared LEDs have narrow spectral bandwidth therefore an array comprising 3-5 LED chips would be needed to cover the 900-1800 nm wavelength range. The technology provider has developed a single chip, broad band NIR LED eliminating all the barriers in developing miniature, battery operated NIR spectrometers. They are looking for partners to develop commercial products and applications utilizing the NIR LED chips or custom packaged LEDs produced by them.
The broad spectrum of the InGaAsP based semiconductor chip is composed of two or more emission peaks. The emission spectrum spans from 900 to 1800 nm. The number and position of emission peaks can be tailored to the specific application requirements. The emission surface of the LED chips can be 500×500 μm2 or 300×300 μm2, rectangular shape or 100 μm diameter circular spot. The typical forward voltage is 1.2V, the maximum forward current is 100 mA in continuous operation and can be 3 A at 5 kHz, ton=200 ns repetitive mode. The broad band NR LEDs are available in TO-18 2 pin package with spherical glass lens cap.
The single chip broad band NIR LED enables battery operated, ultracompact handheld miniature spectrometers to be developed. The rapid, on-site, on-line non-destructive chemical analysis can be applied in diverse consumer and industrial applications, like smart phone spectroscopy, food scanners, alcohol measurement in breweries and distilleries, counterfeit drug detection, grain sorting, coffee, tea qualification, moisture control, industrial process monitoring, etc.
The global near-infrared spectroscopy market is expected to grow at CAGR 9.16% during the period 2018-2022. One of the key growth drivers is the evolution of miniature NIR spectrometers. (Source Business Wire, 2018).
Several low-cost, miniaturized spectrometers have been recently developed enabling rapid non-destructive measurements requiring small sample size. In many applications the measurement equipment is interfaced with mobile communication enabling cloud computation and data analytics. Device size, weight and battery life is a key factor in mobile applications and these are the areas where broad-band near-infrared LEDs excel incandescent light sources. Matching advantages of the broad-band NIR LED with novel spectrometer design would be a winning combination in the market.
Benefits for equipment developer: submillimeter size, low power consumption, high radiance, long life near-infrared light source which can operate both in continuous and high frequency mode. Benefit for the end-user: affordable, small size, easy to use smart device.