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MIREGAS Report Summary

Project ID: 644192
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MIREGAS (Programmable multi-wavelength Mid-IR source for gas sensing)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Cost effective multi-wavelength light sources are key enablers for wide-scale penetration of gas sensors at Mid-IR wavelength range. Utilizing a novel Mid-IR Si-based photonic integrated circuit filter and wide-band Mid-IR SLEDs, we aim at demonstrating an innovative light source that covers 2.7…3.5 µm wavelength range with a resolution <1nm. The spectral bands are switchable and tuneable and they can be modulated. The source allows for the fabrication of an affordable multi-band gas sensor with good selectivity and sensitivity. The unit price can be lowered in high-volumes by utilizing tailored molded IR lens technology and automated packaging and assembling technologies.

In safety and security applications, the Mid-IR wavelength range covered by the source allows for the detection of several harmful gas components with a single sensor. The project is filling a gap: affordable sources are not available. The market impact is expected to be disruptive, since the devices currently in the market are either complicated, expensive and heavy instruments, or the applied measurement principles are inadequate in terms of stability and selectivity. At the foreseen price level, the proposed approach is extremely competitive against conventional gas sensors. The source will be validated in several key applications including building ventilation, high voltage asset monitoring, emission monitoring, gas leakage monitoring as well as process control and safety.

The consortium is composed of one large European company, three SMEs, and three world-class research organizations from three European countries representing the complete value chain from devices and components to gas sensor manufacturers. The position of these organizations in their respective markets guarantees that the project results will be widely exploited providing the companies with a technological advantage over their worldwide competitors thus creating new high-tech jobs and technology leadership in Europe.
The project workflow is divided into three phases. During the reporting period, we have addressed Phase II.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Deliverable Report D1.1 Requirement specifications was finalized during the first project year. The development of the SLED and the design of the Si PIC filter were carried out during the reporting period targeting to the realization of the Phase II prototype.
During the first project year, The SLED devices reached state-of-the-art optical output power at 2 um. Various PIC filter designs were included in the Si photonics processing run, which is targeting for the Phase II prototype. Packaging concept was elaborated considering the customized IR lens materials and lens elements.

Phase II prototype was decided to target in realizing components that will emit light in the 2.3…2.7 µm wavelength range. The Si-photonics PIC filter produces single spectral peaks having spectral width of ~1nm. The spectral output of the module is targeting to be used for the secondary gas components specified in the Deliverable D1.1.

The target in the Phase II was to realize SLED components that emitting light in the 2.3…2.7 µm wavelength range and Si PIC filters operating at the same wavelength range 2.3 … 2.7 µm. The Si-photonics PIC filter produces single spectral peaks having spectral width of ~1nm. The spectral out-put of the module was targeting to be used for the secondary gas components specified in the Deliverable Report D1.1.

During the second project year, the Phase II SLED was packaged in a TO package equipped with a customized Mid-IR lens. The package was made using the components, which were the first products of the project. The first prototype showed the way how to realize the final prototype. The combination of the SLED with the Si PIC showed out to be challenging due to tight schedule. Therefore, it was decided that the PIC devices need to be characterized carefully before carrying out integration. In addition, the characterization brings us information for the design of the Phase III devices. Due to the tight schedule, waveguide characterization was not able to be carried out during the second project year. The D3.2 will be submitted as soon as the characterization is performed. At the same time, the MS2 will be fulfilled.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Project is in early device development phase. SLED devices have shown their potential to reach beyond the state-of-the-art.

The status of the expected impact is the following:

Technology leadership: The design of the MIREGAS prototype is based on the customized SLED and Si PIC filter devices as well as IR optics. Advances in the device development open up new possibilities to use automated packaging methods. The key issue is passive alignment of devices. This is utilized in SLED bonding directly on the Si PIC device using thermo-compression bonding as well as IR lens assembly. Phase II devices have been fabricated. The next step is to manufacture various test prototypes to combine and test various functionalities in order to fulfil Phase II and Phase III targets.

Business opportunities: The MIREGAS beneficiaries collaborated in releasing the updated version of the Dissemination and Use Plan. A new item proposed by VIGO: Light source/ gas sensor module was included in the list of potential results. The and comments given by the IUG members in the second IUG meeting helped the consortium partners to think the MIREGAS concept more objectively and find ways to utilize the results of the project as soon as possible.

Sensing solutions: The fabricated 2.65 μm SLED show at room temperature 0.5 mW output power and spectral width of 300 nm indicating that the MIREGAS light source development will be successful and the end-user beneficiaries will be able to utilize the results in their product in various safety applications.

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