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Emberion’s New Hyperspectral Graphene Photodetector Covers Wide Spectral Range

Graphene Flagship industrial partner, Emberion, is launching a new hyperspectral graphene photodetector at Laser World of Photonics on June 24 to 27 Munich, Germany. Showcased in Hall A2 at stand 113/3, the linear array can enable on-site analysis of food and agriculture products using infrared detection—at a lower cost than existing indium gallium arsenide infrared sensors. (Image credit: Graphene Flagship)

Emberion—one of the first spinouts of the Graphene Flagship—was started in 2016 to bring the work completed in the Graphene Flagship Optoelectronics work package to the market.

Ultra-sensitive photodetectors from Emberion integrate graphene transistors with an efficient light-absorbing layer. This integration allows an extensive spectral range encompassed with a single photodetector, from visible (VIS) light to short-wave infrared (SWIR), identifying wavelengths from 400 to 1800 nm.

The SWIR light penetrates through material and enables rapid analysis of organic products, like food and chemical composition.

Earlier, full detection of short waved infrared range and visible light needed two types of sensors—InGaAs and silicon. However, InGaAs sensors can be costly for the end customer. By replacing such material with graphene, the capabilities of both InGaAs and silicon are integrated into a single graphene-based sensor, resulting in approximately 30% cost reduction.

As ready-to-buy products, VIS-SWIR graphene photodetectors make the formerly cost-prohibitive in-field and in-line spectroscopy applications viable. These cover plastic sorting in recycling, food security, agricultural field analysis, authentication of pharmaceutical products, and non-invasive medical imaging.

Graphene’s unique properties and its compatibility to combine with other materials allowed us to create this cost-effective array for spectrometers. Providing broad spectrum capabilities, without the expense of traditional InGaAs sensors, the VIS-SWIR graphene photodetector provides a digital output using Emberion's in-house designed read out circuits (ROIC) — without the need to translate analogue data with additional components. With sensitivity and noise levels comparable to InGaAs detectors, our graphene-based sensors are a more affordable option for businesses who were previously faced with costly products.

Tapani Ryhänen, CEO, Emberion

According to Daniel Neumaier, Leader of the Graphene Flagship Electronics and Photonics Integration Division, “the recently launched IR sensor array from Emberion is an excellent example of how knowledge and expertise from different domains is merged in order to commercialize a new technology. The product has benefited not only from the advanced made on the underlying photonic devices, but also from the progress made on material synthesis, process technology, CMOS integration and finally manufacturing. This demonstrates the importance of collaboration and broad scope of the Graphene Flagship project.”

[The Graphene Flagship] welcomes the news of another product launch derived from the work funded by our project. This shows how we are progressing from the laboratories to the factory floors along our technology and Innovation roadmap. We can say with confidence that graphene technology is now a reality. Over the next 5 years we expect a number of new products to be launched and many new spin outs formed.”

Andrea C. Ferrari, Science and Technology Officer and Chair of Management Panel, Graphene Flagship

Emberion - Broaden Your Vision Animation

(Video credit: Graphene Flagship)

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