In the Horizon 2020 project MIREGAS, the Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT Ltd and Tampere University of Technology, together with other European partners, have developed novel components for miniaturised gas sensors based on mid-infrared absorption spectroscopy. The main advances concerned the development of novel superluminescent LEDs of 2.65 µm wavelength, photonic integrated circuits (PICs) with 1 nm bandwidth for spectral filtering in the mid-IR, hot-embossed mid-IR lenses for beam forming and photodetectors for 2–3 µm wavelengths. Silicon photonics PIC technology that was originally developed for optical communication applications allows for the miniaturisation of the sensor.
MIREGAS, brought together European institutes and multinational companies. On the technology side, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd coordinated the programme and provided Si PICs as well as photonics packaging and integration technologies. The Optoelectronics Research Centre at the Tampere University of Technology in Finland was responsible for developing innovative superluminescent LEDs, ITME (Poland) for mouldable mid-IR lenses and VIGO (Poland) for mid-IR detectors. Industrial partners Vaisala (Finland), AirOptic (Poland) and GasSecure (Norway) brought their expertise in the areas of gas sensing and mid-IR sensor fabrication, and at the same time, validated the technologies developed by the consortium.
Commercial systems based on the new technologies developed by the MIREGAS project are already in development.