Project REDFINCH – Mid-Infrared Fully Integrated Chemical Sensors

The REDFINCH consortium is developing the next generation of miniaturized, portable optical sensors for chemical detection in both gases and liquids. Initial target applications are in the petrochemical and dairy industries.

REDFINCH is a consortium of eight European research institutes and companies, undertaking cutting edge R&D into novel, high performance, cost effective chemical sensors, based on Mid-Infrared Photonic Integrated Circuits (MIR PICs). Silicon PICs – integrating optical circuits onto millimeter-size silicon chips – enable extremely robust miniature systems, in which discrete components are replaced by on-chip equivalents. This ensures an improved ease of use and a reduction in cost.

Research Focus Fraunhofer IPM

Gas leak detector

  • Design and concept of an integrated miniaturized PAS gas sensor system
  • Assembly and test of miniaturized PAS gas sensor system
  • Validation of miniaturized PAS gas sensor system

The consumption of natural gas is steadily increasing worldwide; in Europe the construction of new pipelines and ports to deliver liquefied natural gas (LNG) from different sources to the European gas grid will establish reliable gas supply at low cost for the next decades. This gas grid will also serve as a huge storage system to compensate for the increasing share of fluctuating renewable energies in Europe. The infrastructure needs continuous monitoring, especially as it ages.

Project Funding

Funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 program, Contract No. 780240.

Project consortium

  • EA-Leti, France (Coordinator)
  • Argotech a.s., Czech Republic
  • Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland
  • Endress+Hauser Process Solutions (Germany) GmbH, Germany
  • Fraunhofer IPM, Germany
  • mirSense, France
  • Vienna University of Technology, Austria
  • Université de Montpellier, France

Project term

Dec 2017 – May 2021

Background#

The REDFINCH partners are addressing the significant challenge of implementing the novel chemical sensors in the important mid-infrared region (2-20 μm wavelength range), where many important chemical and biological species have strong absorption fingerprints. This allows for the detection and concentration measurement of a wide range of gases, liquids and biomolecules, crucial for applications such as health monitoring and diagnosis, detection of biological compounds, monitoring of toxic gases, and many more. Initially, REDFINCH will focus on three specific key applications:

  • Process gas analysis in refineries
  • Gas leak detection in petrochemical plants and pipelines
  • Protein analysis in liquids for the dairy industry