Excellent accuracy and flexible air quality monitoring

Integrated, Modular, Multisensing, Mid- and Near- IR sensing platform

Project ID: 101093008
Start date: 1. 1. 2023
End date: 30. 6. 2026
EU cordis link: CORDIS


Argotech’s role

  • To perform the packaging of the key photonic components in the sensor systems.

Project description

Environmental monitoring, industrial process control, medical diagnostics, water quality control, and safety. These are several sectors in which mid-infrared spectroscopy-based sensing technology is important. The EU-funded M3NIR project will develop this technology for various applications. Using quantum cascade lasers, it will offer high reliability for the detection of trace amounts of analytes. 

M3NIR aims to enhance the performance, reduce the footprint and lower the energy consumption and cost of mid-infrared sensing. Specifically, it will implement detector-free sensing, combine mid- and near-infrared components, and co-integrate advanced electronics and data processing units. 

M3NIR will demonstrate its innovations for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions and ship emissions, detecting phosphates and nitrates in water, and breath analysis for health-related applications.


Photonics-based sensing in the mid-IR been proven to be the key technology for highly efficient sensing in a plethora of applications ranging from environmental monitoring to industrial process control, medical diagnostics, water quality, safety applications, medical and more. Related to other sensing approaches, mid-IR spectroscopy-based sensing enables the fast, reliable, and consumables/maintenance-free operation for the detection of trace amounts (even in the sub-ppb range) to high concentration of the targeted analytes. The interest in the technology has been significantly increased due to the maturing of the Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs). QCLs offer an up to 2-orders of magnitude enhancement in the signal-to-noise ratio while enabling the direct access to the characteristic molecular fingerprint region of the targeted analytes.

M3NIR develops very innovative (currently at TRL2) mid-IR sensing approaches to significantly boost the technology in terms of performance (low limit of detection, multiple-species detection), footprint (co-integrating of lasers and components) reduction of energy consumption and cost. For the latest two, M3NIR implements detector-free sensing by means of the self-mixing detection scheme. Moreover, the combination of mid-IR and near-IR components in photothermal sensing is yet another approach for the implementation of miniaturised, energy efficient and low-cost advanced sensory system. To accomplish its goals, M3NIR co-integrates advanced electronics and data processing units in the systems as well. M3NIR demonstrates its novel approaches at TRL5 for the monitoring of GHG and ships emission (a drone-mounted sensor to be demonstrated), detection of phosphates and nitrates in water and the breath analysis for health and well-being related applications.


IMEC – Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum


Altus LSA Commercial and Manufacturing SA, Greece
Cyric – Cyprus Research and Innovation Center Ltd, Cyprus
Ethniko Kai Kapodistriako Panepistimio Athinon, Greece
Eulambia Advanced Technologies Etairia Periorismenis Efthinis, Greece
Metis Baltic, Lithuania
Microfluidic Chipshop GmbH, Germany
S::Can GmbH, Austria
Technische Universitaet Wien, Austria
Universitaet Ulm, Germany
VLC Photonics SL, Spain
Alpes Lasers SA, Switzerland

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme
under grant agreement no. 101093008.