Absorption spectroscopy is one of the standard measurement methods for the analysis of gases and liquids. Especially in the middle infrared range (MIR) with wavelengths of 3−20 μm, many gases and liquids show strong and molecule-specific absorption structures. This applies in parti-cular to the so-called »fingerprint range« with wavelengths from 8 to 12 μm.
IR emitters and detectors based on microsystem technology
The performance of the light source used is decisive for the sensitivity of an optical gas sensor. For specific applications, Fraunhofer IPM develops and manufactures miniaturized system components based on microsystems technology as MEMS (»Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems«) or MOEMS (»Micro-Optoelectro-Mechanical Systems«). Among these are modulated emitters for the middle infrared in thin and thick film technology. Specific material know-how and an excellent infrastructure enable us to develop also fast detectors, e.g. for the middle infrared.