The measurement of chemicals develops with Russian technology
Russian company LED Microsensor, a spin-off company of the St. Petersburg Ioffe Institute has brought to the market an infrared photodiode detector device, which measures chemicals – and it’s the size of a matchbox. These small, cheap detectors can be scattered almost anywhere. Traditionally such devices have been much bigger and the price tag on them thousands of dollars. The company came into existence as a result of the extensive research in solid-state physics, for which academician Zhores Alferov was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in physics.
LED Microsensor sought the assistance of Spinverse to support their international commercialization efforts through Finnish-Russian Innovation Alliance on Nanotechnology, the project financed by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs aiming to build partnerships between universities, research institutes and companies across the Finnish-Russian border.
Infrared-based analysis is used around the world in many applications for measuring concentrations of substances in gases, liquids and even solids. However in many cases there are problems related to infrared source’s and receiver’s operating reliability, size, power consumption, and of course the price. LED technology brings many advantages compared to conventional infrared sources such as heat elements and lasers. LEDs also allow very low power consumption while operating the pulse mode and a several wavelengths produced by a single LED package.
Research and commercialization of technology is, however, a form of art, and when LED Microsensor last year received a major financial contribution from the Russian nanotechnology venture fund RUSNANO, the company turned to the Micronova Research Centre of VTT and Aalto University to obtain a flying start to the semiconductor manufacturing. Industrial cooperation is a positive add-on to Aalto University’s School of micro-and nano-technology department’s active infrared semiconductor materials research which is in danger of being overshadowed by research of newer, for example, lighting grade LED materials. The department has already developed lighting grade LED materials with a Rusnano-funded OptoGaN. Around the same time, the company decided to continue the innovation within the Alliance and began cooperation with Spinverse which has led to the first partnerships with technology companies operating in Finland in industrial process technologies, environmental technologies, and healthcare sectors.
LED Microsensor’s CEO Nikolai Stojanov, notes: “The road of science to commercial applications is long and cooperation with the Finns has substantially accelerated the start of our production, as well as the commercial business development.
For more information, read the original news from Tekniikka & Talous (in Finnish).