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A compact readout platform for spectral-optical sensors

: Wuchrer, Roland; Amrehn, Sabrina; Liu, Luhao; Wagner, Thorsten; Härtling, Thomas

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Journal of sensors and sensor systems : JSSS 5 (2016), No.1, pp.157-163
ISSN: 2194-8771
ISSN: 2194-878X
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IKTS ()

The continuous monitoring of industrial and environmental processes is becoming an increasingly important aspect with both economic and societal impact. So far, spectral-optical sensors with their outstanding properties in terms of sensitivity and reliability have not been considered as a potential solution because of the cost-intensive and bulky readout hardware. Here we present a card-size, in expensive, and robust readout platform based on a wavelength-sensitive photodiode. In test and characterization experiments we achieved a wavelength shift resolution of better than 0.1 nm and a detection limit of 0.001 AU for ratiometric measurements. We furthermore discuss the capability and current limitations of our readout unit in context with interrogation experiments we performed with a photonic crystal-based fluid sensor. In sum we expect the presented readout platform to foster the exploitation of spectral-optical sensor technology for gas monitoring, chemical analytics, biosensing and many others fields.