Fully Integrated Mid-Infrared Chemical Sensors

Developing Photonic Integrated Circuits at Mid-Infrared Wavelengths for the Petrochemical and Dairy Industries

Project ID: 780240
Start date: 1. 12. 2017
End date: 31. 5. 2021
EU cordis link: CORDIS

Argotech’s role

Designing, assembly and testing different processes of laser die attach and coupling to target structures in mid-infrared wavelength region.

Project description

The main objective is to develop and realise miniaturised, portable chemical sensors for gas analysis, gas leak detection and protein analysis in liquids.

However, current neuromorphic electrical computing systems have their own limitations, which is why the NEUROPULS project is developing next-generation low-power and secure edge-computing systems. By utilizing novel photonic computing architectures and security layers based on photonic PUFs, augmented silicon photonics CMOS-compatible platforms, and emerging non-volatile phase change materials, this project aims to demonstrate a two order of magnitude improvement in energy efficiency. With RISC-V compliant interfaces and a novel full-system simulation platform, NEUROPULS will revolutionize the future of computing.


Mid-infrared photonic integrated circuits (mid-IR PICs) are the subject of increasing interest due to the large amount of sensing applications in the 2-20 µm wavelength range. Most molecules exhibit absorption fingerprints in the mid-IR range corresponding to their rotational/vibrational energies. Tunable-diode laser absorption spectroscopy thus allows detection and concentration measurements of many biological and chemical species. 

This is of crucial interest for many societal applications such as health monitoring and diagnosis, detection of biological compounds, monitoring of toxic gases, or of greenhouse gas emission responsible for global warming, to name but a few. However, state of the art sensing systems are large and delicate which greatly hampers potential applications.

REDFINCH will use hybrid and monolithic integration of III-V diode and Interband Cascade/Quantum Cascade materials with silicon to create high performance cost effective sensors based on Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC). Integration creates extremely robust systems, in which discrete components are replaced by on-chip equivalents, giving a simultaneous improvement in ease of use and a reduction in cost. Silicon Photonics leverages the advantages of high performance CMOS technology, providing low cost mass manufacture, high fidelity reproduction of designs, and access to high refractive index contrasts that enable high performance nanophotonics.

REDFINCH will realise three fully-integrated PIC-based chemical sensor demonstrators for: 

  1. Process gas analysis in refineries
  2. Gas leak detection in petrochemical plants
  3. Liquid sensor for protein analysis in the dairy industry.


CEA LETI, Commissariat a l’energie atomique et aux energies alternatives, France


CNRS – Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique, France
Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions (Deutschland) GmbH, Germany
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung EV, Germany
Mirsense, France
Munster Technological University, Ireland
Technische Universitaet Wien, Austria
Tyndall National Institut, University College Cork, Ireland
Universite de Montpellier, France

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme
under grant agreement no. 780240.