A comparison of the spectrometer integrated in the chip on the fingertip in the foreground and a commercial benchtop spectrometer in the background. Image credit: Aalto University, Finland
This time, using two-dimensional semiconductor ultra-thin materials, the researchers developed a spectrometer on an integrated chip. This single-detector spectrometer is an all-in-one device, like an optoelectronic “lab-on-a-chip” with artificial intelligence.
While traditional spectrometers require bulky optical and mechanical components, the new device can even fit on the ends of human hair, said Ethan Minot, a professor of physics at The Ohio State University’s College of Science. New research shows that new semiconductor materials and artificial intelligence can replace traditional components, allowing the size of the smallest spectrometers (equivalent to the size of a grape) to shrink again.
The new spectrometer does not require the assembly of separate optical and mechanical components or array designs to disperse and filter light. Additionally, it achieves high resolution comparable to benchtop systems, but in a much smaller package.
The researchers say the device is fully electronically controlled, which gives it great potential for scalability and applicability. With this spectrometer, one can measure the intensity of light at every wavelength beyond the visible spectrum with a device within reach. For example, it can be directly integrated into everyday intelligencecell phoneIn portable devices such as drones and drones, hyperspectral cameras used as smartphones can not only capture and analyze information at visible wavelengths, but also perform infrared imaging and analysis.
In addition, the spectrometer also provides tools for studying new science. In medicine, spectrometers can be used to identify subtle changes in human tissue, such as differences between tumors and healthy tissue. In the field of environmental monitoring, spectrometers can accurately detect what and how much pollution is in the air, water or ground.
Researcher Professor Perti Hakonen believes that with further improvements in resolution and efficiency, these spectrometers could also provide new tools for quantum information processing.