NEO Monitors’ Innovative R&D

Involvement in research projects has always been an important part of NEO Monitors’ development strategy. From the very beginning up until now, we have been a partner in many national and European research projects. The results have often been directly or indirectly adapted into commercial products. Below you can read more about ongoing projects where NEO Monitors plays a crucial part.

Following developments and trends in the world of science, having early access to new technologies, and cultivate relationships with key research institutes allows us to maintain a global leadership in gas spectroscopy. Currently we act as an industrial partner and system integrator in five European research projects. These are targeting the development of new laser-sources for a variety of spectral regions, as well as new detection schemes. This auspicious combination will open up new and exciting possibilities in gas sensing that will allow us to release new, revolutionary products in the future.

Detection of gases in the mid-infrared (MIR) spectral region

Detection of gases in the mid-infrared (MIR) spectral region has been a focus in R&D worldwide the last couple of years. This wavelength region has a great potential in terms of new applications in the measurement industry.

Nowadays laser-based gas spectrometers in the near-infrared (NIR, 760 nm to 2300 nm) have been accepted by industrial users as the best available technology for a number of different applications. However, for some gases specifically of interest for emission and process control it is necessary to move into the mid-infrared region (MIR, 3 µm – 12 µm). This is either because the gas of interest (e.g. sulfur dioxide, SO2) has no absorption features or, in case of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), the absorption strength and thus the sensitivity is too low in the NIR.

The figure below shows as an example of the absorption strength of NO. As can be seen, the absorption strength in the MIR (around 5.2µm) is about 1000 times stronger than in the NIR (around 1.8µm). Therefore, NEO Monitors has set one focus of its R&D on the investigation of MIR laser sources to be able to utilize the stronger absorption and thus increasing the sensitivity of its sensors.

Ongoing projects

mirifisensThe project will exploit state-of-the-art micro and nano-fabrication techniques. The major technologic achievements proposed will address the issues of sensitivity and selectivity, multi-gas capabilities, compactness, efficiency and cost effectiveness as specified by a number of selected Safety & Security applications. The achievements will be tested and validated for these applications. MIRIFISENS will deliver a new class of sensors with superior tunability, better portability and extended detection capabilities, changing radically the current landscape of MIR chemical sensing spectroscopy.
In food packaging industry the use of gases other than air in the process of manufacturing and sealing of food items for distribution to the consumer chain (supermarkets, retail points, etc) has progressively grown. It follows that the precise measurement and control of the inside atmosphere represent a requirement in the food and packaging industries. The control will be made in-line after closure or later to monitor the integrity of the seal and its evolution in time. Inline non-intrusive laser gas sensors, contactless based on laser spectroscopy, will be developed and validated in the project timeframe. It can operate both on (partially) transparent (food trays and bags, bottles) as well in almost non-transparent containers. What is new is the possibility to measure gas with laser spectroscopy within diffuse materials, such as paper, plastic and food itself with a new method of inspection and its adaptation to measuring closed containers from food trays, to bags, to milk containers to bottles of different shape, colors, transparent and not transparent.

The sensors will be demonstrated and validated with two real-time in-line pilot installations regarding bread, tortilla and cheese production.

For more information about the Safetypack research project, visit safetypack project

safe sensState of the art fire safety systems are primarily designed to detect and respond to smoke, heat and IR/UV radiation. These elements are mainly present during the advanced stages of a typical fire cycle when the fire gases have been substantially released and the fire has already propagated to a large extent. As a result, the fire damage is typically large and building occupants can be exposed to harmful or toxic gases. Additionally, standard fire cells do not provide information about the location of people in the flaming building. There is thus a direct societal need for safety systems equipped with ultra-sensitive, reliable gas sensors for early fire detection, and accurate presence detection technology that allows to localize remaining occupants in the building.
The SAFESENS project will address the direct societal need for more reliable and earlier fire detection in combination with accurate occupancy detection. SAFESENS aims at achieving this goal with the co-integration of gas sensor and presence detection technologies, which should enable an enhanced safety and security of buildings, its occupants and safety workers.
For more information about the SAFESENS research project, visit eniac safesens
The object of this project is to develop a system for real-time, non-invasive monitoring of the lungs of preterm babies. Lung complications are very common in babies born before pregnancy week 30. The novel method “gas in scattering media absorption spectroscopy”, GASMAS, holds the promise of a non-invasive, bedside laser monitoring system to improve lung diagnostics and ventilator optimisation. The outcome will be a prototype medical device that can be used in a clinical trial.

To read more, visit their web page

Under construction
More info will follow in a short while.

Please read more on the web page MIRPHAB

Recent projects

clarifyCLARITY is a 3-years research project funded under the seventh framework programme (FP7) in the research area: ICT-2011.3.5 Core and disruptive photonic technologies. The project envisions the development and demonstration of a set of technologies, which will radically change the current scenery of mid-infrared (MIR) photonic systems in terms of performance, size and cost. The technology vehicles are ultra-low noise Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) sources and ultra-wideband frequency converters based on silicon nano-waveguides and microstructured soft-glass fibers.
The mid-infrared (MIR) spectral region is emerging as the preferred wavelength region for a number of applications including free space communications, absorption spectroscopy, chemical and biological sensing and LIDAR applications. The key elements for the different applications are the optical source and the detector.
widelaseThe WideLase Project concerns realization of compact, rugged and cost effective laser sources with wide tuning range for safety and security applications in the 3.3 to 7.0 μm wavelength range. Novel Interband Cascade based laser structures with wide gain bandwidth will be fabricated enabling room temperature continuous wave operation. The developed structures will exceed existing Quantum Cascade Laser performance figures in the targeted mid infrared range. Additionally, novel monolithic concepts for electrical tuning based on multi-section DFB as well as acousto-opto-electronic lasers will be developed in the wavelength range of interest. This will result in monolithic devices with an unprecedented tuning range of up to 200nm formerly in reach only by external cavity lasers.

These novel high performance photonic sources will allow the development of the following highly sensitive detection systems:

  • Laser based sensor for remote detection of alcohol against drunk driving
  • Laser based sensor for formaldehyde monitoring
  • Laser based sensor for hydrocarbon leak detection (NEOs commitment)

For more information about the WIDELASE research project, visit widelase

gosfelCurrent free electron lasers are large and expensive facilities. The recent isolation of graphene, in which electrons travel ballistically and at extremely high saturation velocities, has provided an exciting potential route for creating a compact solid state free electron laser. In this project we will first develop the theory for the operation of such a device and will use this to design and fabricate devices containing a suspended graphene active region. Metallic gratings will be patterned on top of, or below, the graphene to provide the modulation needed to accelerate/decelerate the electrons, causing the emission of radiation in the 0.2 to 10 THz range. We will then integrate an electromagnetic feedback cavity to enhance stimulated emission and to produce coherent radiation. The demonstration of such a room temperature source would challenge established notions of laser operation and would be a significant technological development.

For more information about the GOSFEL research project, visit gosfel

Conferences and seminars

3rd WORKshop on Infrared Technologies
Industrial applications for interband and quantum cascade lasers
Authors: Peter Geiser

Field Laser Applications in Industry and Research (FLAIR), Aix-les-Bains, France (2016)
LaserGas Q: New applications to mid-infrared in-situ gas sensing
Authors: Peter Geiser, Peter Kaspersen

Laser Applications to Chemical, Security and Environmental Analysis (LACSEA), Heidelberg, Germany (2016)
Multi-gas spectroscopy using continuous-wave quantum cascade laser arrays
Authors: Peter Geiser, Grégory Maisons, Dung Do Dang, Mickael Brun, Mathieu Carras, Peter Kaspersen

The 61th Annual Analysis Division Symposium, Galveston, USA (2016)
Laser-Based Multi-Component Gas Analysis in Harsh Environments
Authors: Peter Geiser, Ove Bjorøy, Karsten Brink Floor

2016 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition (Symposium: Aluminum Reduction Technology)
QCL-Based Perfluorocarbon Emission Monitoring
Authors: Luis Espinoza-Nava, Nicola Menegazzo, Neal Dando, Peter Geiser

International Conference, Exhibition and Workshops on Petroleum, Refining and Environmental Monitoring Technologies (PEFTEC), Antwerp, Belgium (2015)
New opportunities in process and emission monitoring
Authors: Peter Geiser, Peter Kaspersen, Ketil G. Paulsen

8th International Conference on Advanced Vibrational Spectroscopy (ICAVS8), Vienna, Austria (July, 2015)
A mid-infrared sulfur dioxide sensor for in-situ industrial applications
Authors: Peter Geiser, Peter Kaspersen

The 60th Annual Analysis Division Symposium, Galveston, USA (2015)
LaserGas Q: A new generation of mid-infrared sensors
Authors: Peter Geiser, Ketil Gorm Paulsen

CLEO:2015 Laser Science to Photonic Applications in San Jose, CA USA (2015)
An Interband Cascade Laser based Sulfur Dioxide Sensor for Emission Monitoring Applications
Authors: Peter Geiser, Ove Bjorøy, Peter Kaspersen, Lars Nähle, Marc Fischer, Julian Scheuermann, Michael von Edlinger, Johannes Koeth

International workshop on opportunities and challenges in mid-infrared laser-based gas sensing (MIRSENS3), Würzburg, Germany, (2015)
Interband cascade laser based measurements of Sulfur Dioxide for emission monitoring Applications
Authors: Peter Geiser, L. Nähle, M. Fischer, J. Scheuermann, M. von Edlinger, O. Bjorøy, J. Koeth, Peter Kaspersen

The 59th Annual Analysis Division Symposium, Baton Rouge, USA (2014)
When will mid-infrared spectroscopy meet customers’ needs?
Authors: Ketil Gorm Paulsen, Peter Geiser, Peter Kaspersen

Field Laser Applications in Industry and Research (FLAIR), Florence, Italy (2014)
LaserGas Q: Mid-infrared Nitrogen Oxide and Sulfur Dioxide sensors for emission control applications
Authors: Peter Geiser, Peter Kaspersen

Laser Applications to Chemical, Security and Environmental Analysis (LACSEA), Seattle, USA (2014)
Quantum cascade laser based Tetrafluoromethane and Nitrogen Oxide measurements for emission monitoring applications
Authors: Peter Geiser, Peter Kaspersen

The 58th Annual Analysis Division Symposium, Galveston, USA (2013)
Measurements of industrial Nitrogen Oxide emissions utilizing mid-infrared absorption spectroscopy
Authors: Ketil Gorm Paulsen, Peter Geiser

Progress in electromagnetics research symposium (PIERS), Stockholm, Sweden (2013)
Quantum cascade lasers in industrial applications
Authors: Peter Kaspersen, Peter Geiser

Laser Applications to Chemical, Security and Environmental Analysis (LACSEA), San Diego, USA (2012)
Mid-infrared Sulfur Dioxide measurements at elevated temperatures for emission control
Authors: Peter Geiser, D. Dang, A. Bohman, Peter Kaspersen

Mid-IR optoelectronics: Materials and Devices (MIOMD-XI), Chicago, USA (2012)
Quantum cascade lasers in industrial Applications
Authors: Peter Kaspersen, Peter Geiser, D. Dang

International workshop on opportunities and challenges in mid-infrared laser-based gas sensing (MIRSENS2), Wroclaw, Poland (2012)
Potentials of mid-infrared spectroscopy in emission control
Authors: Peter Kaspersen, Peter Geiser