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Feb 28th, 2013
 
Gas sensor based on mid-infrared MEMS design
 
Spectroscopy system specifically designed for measuring hydrocarbon gases.
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The compact GasSensor is claimed to be insensitive to drift.
The compact GasSensor is claimed to be insensitive to drift.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a series of new mid-infrared spectrometers, which have been integrated into compact gas sensors, branded as “GasSensors”.

The spectrometers are based on MEMS-tunable Fabry-Perot filter spectral sensors. The first demonstrator sensors, which were shown recently at BiOS and Photonics West in San Francisco, are now available for detecting and analyzing low levels of hydrocarbon gases in the spectrum between 3 and 3.7 microns.

Gases such as methane and other short-chain alkanes, as well as ethylene, ethanol and propylene can be precisely analyzed with the sensors, which measure just 77x38x25 mm and weigh 95g.

The GasSensor integrates VTT’s tunable Fabry-Perot filter, a lead-selenide (PbSe) detector and a “microglow” light source packaged together into the ultra-compact device.

Jarkko Antila, senior scientist and VTT’s product line manager, Microspectrometer Technologies, says, “A common problem with the traditional NDIR sensors (non-dispersive infrared) is their cross sensitivity to other hydrocarbons and also to water vapor".

"Our new GasSensor overcomes this by utilizing full spectral information. Its specificity can be improved by a factor of five compared to our current range of gas sensing products."

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