REDFINCH - Compact, portable chemical sensors

The REDFINCH consortium is developing the next generation of miniaturised, 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 8 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 millimetre-size silicon chips — create extremely robust miniature systems, in which discrete components are replaced by on-chip equivalents. This gives a simultaneous improvement in ease of use and a reduction in cost.

The REDFINCH partners are addressing the significant challenge of implementing this 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