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A Single-Pixel Mid-Infrared Spectrometer for Solid, Liquid, and Gas Sensing.

Technology Overview

The single-pixel mid-infrared spectrometer is a compact, cost-effective, and high-performance instrument that can be used for solid, liquid, and gas sensing. It can detect the spectral footprint of the tested samples to distinguish its constituent components. It can also be used for analyzing the concentration of multiple gases in the air. The spectrometer works in the 3000nm to 4000nm wavelength range, where numerous hydrocarbons, alcoholates, and amides have strong absorption peaks. It has the potential to be developed into an open-path gas analyzer, which can be widely applied in the petrochemical, agrochemical, pharmaceutical, and polymer industries among others. In addition, the single-pixel mid-infrared spectrometer can also be used for environmental monitoring, especially for urban air remote sensing and environmental sustainability management.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

The single-pixel mid-infrared spectrometer operates in the 3000nm to 4000nm wavelength range, with a spectral resolution of around 6nm. It can be operated in continuous measurement at a maximum of 1 frame per second (fps). The dimension of the spectrometer is 20cm × 20cm × 10cm, with an infrared emitter as the light source of the spectrometer. The light source is separated from the spectrometer, which works in transmission mode.

This spectrometer is cascaded, meaning the measurement range will be split into two: 3000nm to 3500nm and 3500nm to 4000nm, depending on the choice of the bandpass filter. This reduces the travel range required of the mask and thus the motor size as well. There is a built-in visible laser in the system which shares the same optical path with the infrared light beam, it helps to calibrate the system in real-time and removes the need for an expensive stage with positioning control. Furthermore, it uses a single-pixel detector, which has a much lower cost compared with the conventional mid-infrared array detector. This results in a spectrometer that is more cost-effective for industrial applications.

Potential Applications

  • The primary market of the single-pixel mid-infrared spectrometer is gas analysis.
  • We design it in the 3000nm to 4000nm wavelength range to sense methane, propane, benzene, and other hydrocarbons.
  • The single-pixel mid-infrared spectrometer can also be used to test solid and liquid samples. For example, it can be used to test the type of plastic.
  • Meanwhile, the wavelength range of the spectrometer can be shifted depending on the requirements, which can cover from 2000nm to 8000nm.

Customer Benefit

  • The technology offers a cost-effective solution compared with a conventional spectrometer because the single-pixel spectrometer is compact and can be manufactured at an affordable price.
  • Compare with conventional point sensors in gas sensing, the single-pixel mid-IR spectrometer can be used to monitor multi gases in open path. It reduces the requirement of device numbers and provides more information than point sensors.
Contact Person

Yi Qi


LUX Photonics Consortium

Technology Category

  • Environment, Clean Air/Water
  • Waste Management & Recycling

Technology Readiness Level


Single-Pixel, Mid-Infrared, Spectrometer, Optical Analyzer