Application of Grating Light Reflection Spectroscopy in Analytical Sensors

Introduction There are a number of methods for measuring bulk fluid compositions in statics and flow by visible light reflection characteristics from the optically inhomogeneous wall of a vessel. Surface Plasmon Spectroscopy (SPS) on gratings and randomly rough surfaces has proven to be especially sensitive to fluid composition near the wall. However, SPS techniques have inherent drawbacks when used as analytical sensing techniques. Grating Light Reflection Spectroscopy (GLRS) relies on an optical phenomenon that requires only a sufficient dielectric difference between the substrate and sensing layers, allowing for sensing in environments that would prelude the use of SPS. Technology description Researchers at the University of Washington have developed an optical analytical method and apparatus for measuring concentrations of materials in liquids and gases. The method is based upon measurements of light reflection from diffraction gratings in contact with the sample. Features in the reflection spectrum are directly related to the complex dielectric constant of the sample solution. By examining the reflection spectrum, the concentration of materials in the liquid or gas can be determined. Business opportunity The Method can be used to determine the composition of liquid or gas based on refractive index. As this is a reflection method, the analysis of average bulk properties in a highly scattering medium if possible. This has application in processes or chemical systems that would not be suitable for transmission measurement. Stage of development Initial data and working prototypes exist for this technology.

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