Technology forum – laser – photonics

Small and configurable – spectrometers for industry, medicine and science

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS have developed a compact and cost-effective spectrometer platform for the non-destructive on-site analysis of organic substances. According to the researchers, the platform, called the Scanning Mirror Micro Spectrometer (SMMS), offers an alternative to expensive, line sensor-based desktop devices and also enables customised spectrometer configuration. The platform is based on a single-axis MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical System) scanning mirror. The non-resonant scanning approach is designed to allow special measurement scenarios, including the narrowing of the spectral range with the associated reduction in measurement time.

Variable spectral range and resolution

The latest microscanner technology from Fraunhofer IPMS enables various spectrometer configurations with customisable spectral range and spectral resolution. The spectral range in the standard configuration ranges from 1000 to 1900 nm, but can be customised by selecting different diffraction gratings and detectors, in particular with variants up to 2200 nm and 2500 nm. The spectral resolution is ≤ 10 nm FWHM (full width at half maximum) over the entire spectral range and can be customised by selecting a suitable entrance and/or exit slit.

The fibre-coupled scanning-mirror micro-spectrometer with a spectral range of 1000 to 1900 nm in the standard configuration. Image: Fraunhofer IPMS


Optimised for cost-effective production

In addition to the compact size, technological aspects are relevant for manufacturing in large quantities. According to the developers, the competitive manufacturing costs are achieved through the use of simple basic components and reduced electronic complexity as well as efficient assembly and connection technology and system integration.

Mobile for a wide range of applications

The developers see areas of application in the food, textile and pharmaceutical industries as well as in medicine and the life sciences, but also in material processing or quality monitoring of plastics, petrochemicals, recycling and other measurement tasks that require reliable non-destructive on-site analyses.

Measured reflectance spectra of common plastic materials. Image: Fraunhofer IPMS


The new spectrometer platform will be presented at the Analytica trade fair from 9 to 12 April in Munich.


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