Spectroscopy Since 1975

MEMS-based spectroscopy technology licenced by Australian university

11 December 2015 | News
by Ian Michael

Panorama Synergy Limited has entered into an exclusive global licensing agreement with The University of Western Australia (UWA) for its MEMS-based optical spectroscopy sensor technology.

The UWA MEMS microspectrometer technology represents a very large investment of time and effort by the UWA Microelectronics Research Group over the last decade. The technology is the result of over $10M R&D funding from various organisations including the Australian Research Council, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, and various US and Australian defence agencies. This technology was in part made possible by access to world-class fabrication facilities and expertise at the WA node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF).

Professor Dilusha Silva of UWA told us “At present, we have demonstrated the MEMS microspectrometer technology in the 1600–2500 nm as well as the 3000–5000 nm wavelength regions. While we have not attempted to build devices operating in the gap between these bands, there is no technical challenge in doing so. We have just picked these bands because our initial applications were in imaging, and these are the transparent wavelength windows of the atmosphere.”

“The spectral resolution of these devices is around 40–50 nm at a wavelength of 2000 nm, but the measurements can be stepped at much smaller wavelength steps. We have already shown using soil samples that this spectral resolution proves no impediment to spectral measurements of complex organics. We are presently working towards devices with narrower spectral resolution for applications needing higher resolution. Materials used in our present technology prevent effective operation at wavelengths below 1500 nm. As such, we are presently also working on materials and designs to extend the technology down to a wavelength of 700 nm or below.”

PSY will pay $330,000 for the exclusive global licensing rights for MEMS-based optical spectrometer, half of which is payable within 30 days of the date of the agreement and the balance in 12 months. Additionally, PSY will pay royalties to UWA under the contract on sales and sub-licencing fees. The Royalty rates are to be agreed with UWA. PSY is also responsible for maintaining and protecting the patents during the term of the license agreement.

Professor Lorenzo Faraone of the UWA Microelectronics Research Group, commented: “We rarely consider ownership transfer to commercial partners, however, PSY have demonstrated a commitment to MEMS technology and have a clear strategy to commercialise the spectroscopy technology. PSY are an excellent collaborative partner and this is evident from the progress towards commercial outcomes for the LumiMEMS Reader.”

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