Hamamatsu Photonics was among the 2015 Prism Awards winners recognised at a gala banquet during Photonics West 2015 in San Francisco, California, USA. The company’s micro-spectrometer received the Prism Award for Photonics Innovation in the detectors and sensors category.
The award-winning micro-spectrometer is a UV-Visible spectrometer about the size of a fingertip (20.1 x 12.5 x 10.1 mm). It is a fraction of the size of traditional spectrometers, so it can be easily integrated into instruments or connected to mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) for point-of-care testing, colour measurements, and other applications.
The micro-spectrometer features miniature components, a nanoimprinted grating and a sensor chip, fabricated using MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) technology. The sensor chip features a CMOS linear image sensor sensitive to UV-Visible wavelengths and a light-entrance-slit etched into the silicon substrate. Etching the slit in silicon instead of using a traditional metal slit helped reduce the micro-spectrometer’s size. The grating and sensor chip are sealed within a hermetically sealed case that is resistant against humidity, which makes the micro-spectrometer usable in high-humidity environments that traditional spectrometers do not tolerate well.