Technologies
PDF


WARF: P06122US

Continuous-Wave Laser Source for High Speed Spectroscopy


INVENTORS -

Scott Sanders, Joachim Walewski

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a simple and inexpensive laser-based spectroscopy approach.
OVERVIEWMeasurements of emission and absorption spectra provide a valuable means of identifying and analyzing gases, liquids and solids. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and grating spectrometers are two common commercial tools for measuring spectra; however, both have drawbacks. Because they employ moving mirrors, FTIRs are relatively slow, with a time resolution of tens of milliseconds. Grating spectrometers rely on sophisticated and application-specific cameras, and their light throughput is low, limiting their usefulness for high resolution spectral analysis. In addition, both methods use incoherent, low-radiance light sources.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have devised a simple and inexpensive laser-based spectroscopy approach that is similar to FTIR in principle; however, because it has no moving parts, it offers many advantages, including the ability to produce spectra every microsecond or faster. The laser is generally fashioned as a fiber laser, which is a laser cavity composed primarily of fiber optic cable. To measure spectra, the continuous-wave fiber output is directed at the test article and onto a single photoreceiver. The photoreceiver signal is then digitally processed to produce the desired spectra.
APPLICATIONS
  • Suitable for any application where high speed sensing of spectra is needed, including high speed gas sensing in engines and medical imaging (e.g., optical coherence tomography)
KEY BENEFITS
  • Simple and inexpensive to manufacture: Requires no camera or moving parts
  • Potentially 10 times less expensive to make than an FTIR spectrometer
  • Much faster than traditional FTIR spectroscopy, with a time resolution in the range of 0.1 to 10,000 microseconds
  • Capable of high spectral resolution with high signal-to-noise ratios
  • Extremely flexible: Can be configured for low or high resolution spectral analysis by simply adjusting the digital processing parameters
  • Replaces the lamp found in traditional spectrometers with a low cost continuous-wave laser—a light source that is brighter, more efficient, and compatible with fiber optics
  • Lasers are coherent sources, enabling long-distance environmental probing.
  • Capable of producing 2-D, spectra-based images or scenes at video rates (30 frames per second)
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at emily@warf.org or 608-960-9842.
The WARF Advantage

Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.