OSRAM Intros World’s First Broadband Infrared LED

11/4/2016 5:04 PM 

Osram Opto Semiconductors is utilizing converter technology for infrared emitters to produce an LED that emits broadband infrared light in a wavelength range from 650 to 1,050 nanometers. The main target application for the technology at this time is near-infrared spectroscopy for measuring fat, protein, water, or sugar content in food, in a format that can be used at the consumer level.

Infrared spectroscopy detects the characteristic absorption behavior of certain molecular compounds. If a defined spectrum is directed at a sample, it is possible to determine the presence and quantity of certain ingredients from the wavelength distribution of the reflected light. This approach is used in the food industry and in agriculture, among other sectors, to measure the water, fat, carbohydrate, sugar or protein content of foodstuffs, which is often an indication of freshness, quality, or calorie content.

The LED is based on a blue 1 mm2 chip in UX:3 technology. Its light is converted into infrared radiation with the aid of a phosphor converter developed specifically for this application. A residual blue component in the light helps users target the area they want to investigate. The chip is mounted in the compact Oslon Black Flat package, which is characterized by excellent thermal resistance.

Such compact units for spectroscopic chemical analyses have the potential to open a new range of applications in consumer electronics. One option is a compact sensor – similar to a USB stick – that would be used with an appropriate smartphone app to measure calories, freshness or nutritional content. Experts expect that it will be possible in the near future to integrate spectrometers directly in mobile devices.

 “Future applications are also of particular interest,” said Chris Goeltner, Product Marketing Manager for Infrared at Osram Opto Semiconductors. “It is conceivable that the emission range can be extended to include wavelengths up to 2,000 nanometers, which is the middle infrared spectral range. This will allow more precise and detailed measurements and will open up new options for everyday analyses of certain environmental parameters such as air quality.”