Rethinking Consumer Spectroscopy

Nadia Pervez and Ioannis Kymissis

Chromation is bringing spectroscopy to consumer electronics with innovative technology that opens a path to a chip-scale spectrometer.

figureUSB-out photonic-crystal spectral sensor prototype. [© Ruby Tull Photography]

Projects sometimes take an unexpected path. Chromation’s story began in 2009 at Columbia University, N.Y., USA, when one of the authors (Pervez) was working with the other (Kymissis) on a project using photonic crystals. The project’s goal was to enhance brightness in top-emitting OLEDs on CMOS. To speed up development of the fabrication process, we tried a glass slab simulant with the photonic-crystal designs under test to mimic the OLED seal and passivation layers, assessing the performance via the photonic crystal’s scattering of waveguided light. The light scattering was spectrally selective, and it quickly became apparent that the simulant structure could be used to make an extremely small, simple spectrometer.

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