BASF has developed the Hertzstück™ PbS infrared sensor, with a wavelength range of 1000–3000 nm. Hertzstück has been developed by the startup trinamiX, a company founded by BASF researchers in Ludwigshafen, Germany, in 2015. The patented thin film encapsulation of the functional semiconductor layer is very stable and protects the sensor from environmental influences such as water and oxygen. The miniaturisation means that Hertzstück can be installed as a sensor chip on the circuit board of a smartphone.
BASF says that the first spectrometers using the new infrared sensor will be available in 2019 for industrial and semi-professional applications. They hope that the average consumer will have access to NIR spectroscopy in their smartphone by 2022.