Project MISSION Eyes Future of Silicon Photonics

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A research project aimed at advancing the range of silicon photonic applications is bringing together  research leaders from the universities of Southampton, Sheffield, and York, the University Hospital Southampton, and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC). The project, titled Project MISSION (Mid-Infrared Silicon Photonic Sensors for Healthcare and Environmental Monitoring), recently received a £5.8 million grant from the United Kingdom’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Key to the project will be the development of chip-scale sensors in the mid-infrared range, known as the “fingerprint region,” as it enables sensors to spot identifiers in biological and chemical molecules.

The team intends to produce fundamental components, such as MIR waveguide technology and detectors, which will be pursued by the universities of Southampton and York; light sources, to be looked at by the University of Sheffield; the implementation of key optical sensing technologies on-chip, to be done by the NOC, York, and Southampton; and packaging and electronic readout at the NOC.

Led by the clinical experts at University Hospital Southampton and the environmental experts at the NOC, and after consultation with key end users of the technology, the team will focus on three key research demonstrators: liquid biopsy for faster cancer detection, monitoring of therapeutic drug levels, and measuring of greenhouse gas emissions from the oceans.

Published: April 2021
Infrared (IR) refers to the region of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths longer than those of visible light, but shorter than those of microwaves. The infrared spectrum spans wavelengths roughly between 700 nanometers (nm) and 1 millimeter (mm). It is divided into three main subcategories: Near-infrared (NIR): Wavelengths from approximately 700 nm to 1.4 micrometers (µm). Near-infrared light is often used in telecommunications, as well as in various imaging and sensing...
1. A localized fracture at the end of a cleaved optical fiber or on a glass surface. 2. An integrated circuit.
BusinessSensors & Detectorssensorsinfraredmid-infraredmid-IRMid IRMIRsiliconsilicon photonicschiplab-on-a-chipProject MISSIONEuropeUKUniversity of SouthamptonUniversity of YorkUniversity of SheffieldNational Oceanography CentreBiophotonicslight speed

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