Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Random, Scattered, and Ultra Tiny: A Spectrometer for the Future

Published: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Sometimes a little disorder is precisely what’s in order.

Taking advantage of the sensitive nature of randomly scattered light, Yale University researchers have developed an ultra-compact, low-cost spectrometer with improved resolution over existing micro models. The innovation represents an advance in “lab-on-a-chip” technology, or the consolidation of laboratory capabilities in miniature, highly portable devices.

“The largest dimension of our spectrometer, which we built on a silicon chip, is about the width of a human hair,” said Brandon Redding, a postdoctoral associate in applied physics at Yale and lead author of research published online in the journal Nature Photonics. “It could open up a whole new range of uses, a lot of them outside the lab.”

Hui Cao, professor of applied physics and physics at Yale, is principal investigator.

Spectrometers are instruments that measure the different wavelengths (i.e. colors) of light and can be used to identify substances’ chemical composition and for other types of materials analysis. They are used in biomedical imaging, defense, telecommunications, and many other fields, as well as in fundamental science research. Tiny spectrometers are desirable both for their extreme portability and because they could be mass-produced at a low cost.

Standard commercial spectrometers range in size from a few inches to a few feet and currently cost thousands of dollars, mainly because resolution typically correlates with the size of the device: The bigger the device, the better the resolution. But this adds to expense and limits versatility.

The Yale researchers worked around this problem by introducing randomly placed holes in the silicon chip to scatter incoming light. Prevented from traveling in a straight line, the light beams bounce from one hole to another, increasing the effective distance they travel to get through the chip. This results in better resolution, despite the tiny scale of the device.

“In our case, resolution scales with the square of the size of the device,” Redding said. “We get a much longer path length for our light relative to the size of the device, because the light bounces around many times.”

In tests, the researchers showed that their micro spectrometer can detect a change in wavelength of less than one nanometer, roughly matching the capability of macroscopic spectrometers about the size of a hard drive.

While standard tabletop spectrometers still offer significantly greater resolution, the researchers said, the tiny new spectrometer represents an improvement over existing on-chip spectrometers, which have generally required tradeoffs in sensitivity, resolution, or ease of fabrication as they’ve become smaller.

“We’re taking a very different approach,” said Redding. “The idea of using disorder and multiple scattering is a fairly unexplored concept. Normally, disorder is something you want to overcome or avoid. In this case, it’s what lets us make the device so small.”

The paper is titled “Compact spectrometer based on a disordered photonic chip.” Co-authors are Seng Fatt Liew and Raktim Sarma, also of Yale.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 5,300+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Possible Treatment for Rare Vascular Disease
Researchers manage to reverse hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia in mice, if successful in humans it could lead to improved treatment for the disease.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Precision Medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Researchers identify gene mechanism that increases rheumatoid arthritis risk in susceptable individuals.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
New Model for Studying Alzheimer’s Disease
Researchers develop new model for the study early-stage Alzheimer's, focusing on a particular protein.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Key Protein That Binds to LDL Cholesterol Identified
Researchers have identified a protein that is involved in the buildup of cholesterol in blood vessels.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Forensics is Boosting the Battle Against Wildlife Trade
From rapid genetic analysis to spectrography, the new advances in forensics offer promise in stopping the trafficking in endangered species.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Study Pinpoints Protein That Detects Radiation Damage
Researchers identify mechanism of radiation-induced tissue damage involving a particular protein
Monday, November 14, 2016
Genetic Repurposing
New study suggests that a mammalian bone and muscle gene may be repurposed to fuel cognition in humans
Monday, November 14, 2016
Editing Gene Mutations in Anemia
Researchers successfully use a new gene editing strategy to correct mutations that cause a form of anemia.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Genes Help Track Odd Migrations of Zika Mosquitoes
Study shows that mosquitoes carrying Zika virus or Dengue fever a genetically distinct around the world.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Study Finds Key Regulator in Pulmonary Fibrosis
Researchers identify an enzyme that could open the way to therpies for chronic fatal lung disease.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Alzheimer’s-Linked Protein May Play Role in Schizophrenia
Researchers suggests a protein linked to cognitive decline in Alzheimer's also plays a role in genetic predisposition to schizophrenia.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Ovarian Cancer Insight
Study showed tumours release cytokines to attract macrophages, which secrete growth factors that in turn promote tumour growth.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Fatty Liver Disease Linked to Type 2 Diabetes
Recent study identifies factors causing insulin to misbehave in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
New Model for Understanding Human Myeloma
Researchers develop mouse model where mice carry six human genes involved in human tumour growth.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Less is More in Ribosome Assembly
Research uncovers genetic "program" that allows for ribosome formation with a limited supply of magnesium.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Scientific News
Big Genetics in BC: The American Society for Human Genetics 2016 Meeting
Themes at this year's meeting ranged from the verification, validation, and sharing of data, to the translation of laboratory findings into actionable clinical results.
Stem Cells in Drug Discovery
Potential Source of Unlimited Human Test Cells, but Roadblocks Remain.
Cancer Genetics: Key to Diagnosis, Therapy
When applied judiciously, cancer genetics directs caregivers to the right drug at the right time, while sparing patients of unnecessary or harmful treatments.
BGI Sequences Gingko Tree, Revealing Large, Highly Repetitive Genome
Researchers at BGI have sequenced the more than 10-gigabase ginkgo genome to find a high number of repetitive sequences as well as a number of gene clusters that appear to be involved in defense mechanisms.
Survey of New York City Soil Uncovers Medicine-Making Microbes
Microbes have long been an invaluable source of new drugs. And to find more, we may have to look no further than the ground beneath our feet.
Accelerating the Detection of Foodborne Bacterial Outbreaks
The speed of diagnosis of foodborne bacterial outbreaks could be improved by a new technique developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Making Personalized Medicine a Reality
Groundbreaking technique developed at McMaster University is helping to pave the way for advances in personalized medicine.
Scientists Identify Unique Genomic Features in Testicular Cancer
The findings may shed light on factors in other cancers that influence their sensitivity to chemotherapy.
Top 10 Life Science Innovations of 2016
2016 has seen the release of some truly innovative products. To help you digest these developments, The Scientist have listed their top picks for the year.
BioCision Forms MedCision
The new company will focus on technologies for the management and automation of vital clinical processes.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,300+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!