Chalcogenide glasses are semiconductors, with values of bandgap energy generally in the range 1-3 eV. Exposure of these materials to near-bandgap-energy (visible and NIR optical window) results in a wide range of metastable changes in their opto-electronic (e.g. refractive index change, nonlinear properties or resistivity), structural (e.g. change in etchability or photo-dissolution of metals) or mechanical properties (e.g elastic modulus, contraction and expansion). Despite an extensive body of experimenta l results on such optically induced metastabilities, applications of these unique properties are still highly under-developed, often due to the lack of interdisciplinary research opportunities within the chalcogenide research community. The aims of this pr oject are three-fold. First, to provide a unique opportunity for multidisciplinary research of chalcogenide glass properties with respect to sensor technology. The principal investigator has extensive (greater than ten years) experience in chalcogenide gla ss research. The host institution is a centre of excellence in sensor technology. A synergetic and focused exploration of chalcogenide properties in the sensor field is likely to bring a host of new applications. The second aim is to design a precursor for exploration of an optical sensor technology using chalcogenide glass as a model material. Feasibility studies of a planar miniature IR absorbance based planar sensor or opto-mechanical microcantilever sensing system using diffraction optical elements for beam shaping, delivery and pick-up form a part of this aim. The ultimate aim of the project is to produce a working sensor prototype of a smart device utilizing the precursor described above. For example, it can be envisaged that a planar infrared sensing system forms a basis for tailored, miniature and cheap hydrocarbon sensors or a planar microcantilever optical sensor provides a portable and much simplified way for biochemical sensing.
Field of science
- /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/electronic engineering/sensors/optical sensors
- /engineering and technology/materials engineering
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