Microbolometer with plasmonic antenna
Gap plasmonic antenna
Plasmonic third harmonic generation
The bonds in molecules will rotate or vibrate at frequencies which correspond to mid-infrared wavelengths (roughly 2 µm to 20 µm). Therefore these molecules absorb light and vibrate at these frequencies which provides a physical mechanism to identify the molecules by identifying which bonds between different atoms are in the molecule. The wavelength region between 6.7 µm and 20 µm is called the fingerprint region as most of the absorption lines are unique for specific molecules allowing unique identification.
Mid-infrared sensors have a wide range of applications which includes diagnosis of certain cancers from breath analysis, environmental monitoring and the detection and identification of explosives, chemical weapons and biological agents.
We have been working in mid- and far-infrared wavelengths for over 25 years and have two Bruker Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometers to allow the characterisation of molecules, materials, devices and sensors. FTIR is the gold standard for mid-infrared spectroscopic identification of many molecules and the only technique allowed in mid-infrared forensic evidence in UK courts.
We have demonstrated a wide range of mid-infrared photonic components including photodetectors, microbolometer detectors, low loss waveguides (< 1 dB/cm at 10 µm wavelength), plasmonic amplifiers, polarisaton rotation and non-linear wavelength conversion.
Our main vision is to integrate these photonic components together to build integrated sensors for healthcare, environmental monitoring and security applications.