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5 October 2020

Osram unveils smallest broadband infrared LED for handheld molecular spectroscopy

Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH of Regensburg, Germany has been developing compact and powerful broadband infrared emitters for spectroscopy for many years. In addition to the broad wavelength range, the energy efficiency of the integrated components is essential to system manufacturers, as are the compact dimensions. The new Oslon P1616 SFH 4737 combines these properties, making mobile spectroscopy solutions a reality, says Osram.

The most important aspect of infrared light sources for near-infrared spectroscopy is to cover as broad a wavelength range of emitted light as possible. The wider the range, the more objects that can be analyzed. To determine ingredients or water content, the target object is illuminated with infrared light of a wide wavelength range (usually 650-1050nm). Parts of this light are reflected, and others are absorbed. This ratio varies by object, resulting in a unique molecular fingerprint for each item. The reflected light is collected by a special detector. Then, software processes this data, compares it with documented information stored in the cloud, and finally produces the measurement results.

With its compact dimensions of just 1.6mm x 1.6mm x 0.9mm, the Oslon P1616 SFH 4737 is claimed to be the smallest near-infrared LED (NIRED) for spectroscopy applications on the market – and is only half the size of the previous smallest Osram product. Also suiting use in smartphones is the output of 74mW at 350mA, which is about three times the peak values of earlier solutions. The new product also has radiant intensity in the forward direction of 18mW/sr, double that of former Osram NIREDs.

The optimized performance of the whole wavelength range offers another advantage in spectroscopy, says Osram. The sensitivity of legacy silicon-based detectors decreases with increasing wavelength, especially above 950nm. In the past, to compensate for this, higher currents were required. Thanks to a new phosphor, the component emits more light at higher wavelengths – with positive effects on the overall energy consumption of the system.

“Mobile spectroscopy is a powerful tool for consumers because our NIREDs can help them determine the make-up and quality of their purchases, from the freshness of their produce, to identifying counterfeit medicines and banknotes, and more,” says senior product manager Christophe Goeltner. “It also can benefit industries like agriculture because, for example, it can help farmers pinpoint the ideal time to harvest.”

Tags: Osram IR LED