OM 100-5G photon detector in TO 322 housing
Do you like detective stories? If so, you’re probably familiar with the phenomenon of chemiluminescence. When forensic scientists want to make blood traces visible at the scene of a crime, they often exploit a chemical reaction that produces energetically excited molecules that emit their excess energy as visible light.
The detection of low-intensity light signals down to single photons is of great importance for many applications. Environmental analytics is one of the market drivers here, and microsystems technologies enable the necessary new solutions.
NO2 as a pollutant gas is produced by combustion processes (e.g. ship diesel, vehicles, power plants). It is partly responsible for acid rain, ozone smog in hot summers and affects human health.
Environmental protection demands new solutions to control air pollution (Federal Immission Control Act, TA Luft), to monitor immissions, e.g. in combustion engines, and to reduce exhaust gas values by process optimization and control. Accurate, robust and inexpensive solutions for series applications are in demand.
Together with the company UST Umweltsensortechnik GmbH from Geschwenda, the CiS Research Institute has developed a modular chemiluminescence detector (CLD) for nitrogen oxides, especially NO2.
The detector principle sounds quite simple: nitrogen monoxide reacts with ozone to form excited nitrogen dioxide, the subsequently emitted light is amplified and measured via photomultipliers. The new solution from UST Umweltsensortechnik GmbH and CiS Research Institute replaces the expensive and overload-sensitive photomultiplier and uses a miniaturized PIN photoreceiver instead. Cost-effective, energy-saving, and relatively independent of its ambient temperature, this operates reliably and precisely.
The OM 100-5G photon detector is only 10 x 10 mm in size, has a detectable wavelength range of 300-1100 nm, has a high sensitivity of 0.2 pA to 1 ppm NO2, a low noise < 0.1 ppm (from response measurements derived “Noise
Equivalent Concentration” NEP 25 ppb) and accommodates an integrated temperature sensor including Peltier element and an operational amplifier in its hermetic housing.
The modular device concept is the basis for an application-specific expandable system platform for multi-gas detection. Following CLDs for NOx, the next step will be to implement measurement and detection applications for biogas, exhaust gas and trace analysis.
Likewise, companies in the medical technology sector are showing interest in the new “tiny device”.
“Wherever extremely small amounts of light need to be detected, our photon detector can be used,” Andreas Schmidt, head of the development team from CiS, mysteriously reveals.
Please visit us at the Hannovermesse 2013 (hall 002, booth D54)
as well as the Sensor+Test 2013 trade fair in Nuremberg (Hall 12, Booth 226).