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Chementator: MIR spectrometer on a chip    

By Gerald Ondrey |

Infrared (IR) analyzers are widely used for gas, liquid and surface analysis. Up to now, the most common and inexpensive IR sensor has been a combination of filters (non-dispersive IR) — which have a restricted wavelength band — with a pyroelectric detector; alternatives, such as Fourier transform (FTIR) spectrometers, require an elaborate optical configuration and tend to be expensive. Now, an inexpensive, tunable-IR detector with integrated Fabry-Perot filter has been commercialized by InfraTec GmbH (Dresden, Germany; edlinks.chemengonline.com/7373-540). The device — developed together with the Center for Microtechnologies at Chemnitz University of Technology, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (both Chemnitz, Germany) — is tunable over the mid-IR range (3 – 5 µm), making it suitable for detecting important combustion gases such as CH4, C2H6, CO2, CO and N2O. The microelectromechanical system (MEMS) — with dimensions of only (8.5 X 8.5 X 0.7) mm3 — incorporates a micromachined Fabry-Perot interferonomer with an air cavity, which is tuned electrostatically, a lithium-tantalate pyroelectric detector, and electrical signal processing chips, such as amplifiers…
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